Ballina Shire Council’s port taskforce will today consider a bold plan to build a $56 million marina.
If the ambitious proposal goes ahead in the Kingsford Smith precinct, the council could be the entity to drive the plan forward, despite it being proposed by private interests.
Developers Peter Marshall and John Kelly have provided a concept proposal, and costings, to the council, which will be considered by the Ballina Port Taskforce at a meeting at 6pm.
Under their proposal, marina berths and associated infrastructure would be built along with a mix of apartments, condominiums and a resort.
The developers believe the project would recoup $155,633,000 in property sales.
They say 350 people would be employed during the eight-year construction stage, with another 315 jobs created once the project was completed.
Meanwhile, the taskforce will also consider improving marina infrastructure at the existing Ballina Boat Harbour and the neighbouring RMS land.
General manager Paul Hickey said in a report to the taskforce that the council had heard back from Transport NSW about improving the boat harbor.
‘As a result of this correspondence Council staff have held discussions with representatives from RMS in respect to the RMS depot site and even though there is a possibility that the depot could one day be relocated, there is no firm commitment that this will happen anytime in the short to medium term,’ Mr Hickey said.
‘One option that has previously been discussed is whether council should partner with agencies such as Transport NSW and NSW Trade and Investment (Crown Lands) in an attempt to obtain planning approvals for this location for expanded marina infrastructure,’ he said.
‘Obtaining planning approvals may create a higher potential for a private sector entity to consider investing funds into this location.’
Mr Hickey said further feedback from the taskforce would ‘be of interest’ to the council.
Meanwhile, the taskforce will also consider a wish-list put forward by the council to the state government’s draft regional boating plan.
The first item on the list is to conduct a one-off dredging of the Ballina bar to determine what benefits such a dredge would provide.
Members of the Richmond Valley Anglers Action Group and the Ballina Fishing Club have previously expressed alarm at the proposal, with concerns that dredging could be harmful to marine life.