Eva Ramsey, Ballina
At Ballina Council’s general meeting in July the preferred option was for a two-court development at Kingsford Smith Grounds. This proposal will be neither adequate nor allow room for any future development. Council, along with indoor-sporting bodies, identified several years ago that a two-court facility was inadequate and would not facilitate the current number of Ballina sporting and user groups. We currently represent a core of around 1900 members.
I believe most of the present councillors don’t fully understand the current demand for this type of facility. Neither have they contemplated the future growth of Ballina sporting bodies and other user groups. This smaller facility would also remove any prospect of holding major sporting events. Therefore Ballina would lose the opportunity of valuable revenue being injected into our community’s economy.
I read recently on a government sports site that Tamworth’s new stadium will generate $13mil into their economy in the first two years of operation. What will we miss out on?
In council’s preferred option, in the first stage of the development they envisage spending $2 million on a grandstand at Seagulls Rugby League, which will only be used on average five to six months each year in a sport that caters for 300 players in Ballina. In addition, it is proposed that they receive a $1 million refurbishment of their premises. Most Ballina residents would agree that the $3 million could be much better put towards a four-court sports stadium where thousands of residents engaging in a multitude of sports and activities would have the benefits all year round, especially for our senior citizens and disabled as a place for recreation and therapy. A four-court complex should be the first stage of any development, not a grandstand and refurbishment of an existing club.
This facility will create a positive focus of wellbeing and social pride within the whole community; it will create a strong foundation and focus for our youth, and also promote a healthier lifestyle, and help to create our leaders of the future.
Quite obviously, to be able to provide this much needed community infrastructure, some current councillors must go. Let’s rid ourselves of the Old Boys’ Club and their two ladies in tow. Only vote for the candidates who support a four-court complex. Give our shire a future and allow Ballina to claim its own identity with a new, forward-thinking, positive council for our shire.