Ballina will continue to push for a marina despite rejecting a private application for a $56 million facility in the Kingsford Smith Park precinct.
Ballina mayor David Wright yesterday used his casting vote to reject the marina proposal put forward by Peter Marshall and John Kelly from Queensland-based David Wilson Landscape Architects.
Cr Wright said community concern about the large scale of the development had prompted his decision, along with a belief that the proposed marina was not compatible with existing infrastructure in the area.
He said the state government had already indicated support for two other sites – Regatta Ave and Fisheries Creek – and they would be further investigated with $80,000 allocated for feasibility studies.
‘They (the state government) hasn’t given us money for dredging. They’ve done a survey which showed a depth of four metres, but the trawler owners say that changes with the shifting of sand’, he said.
“It’s a bit of a Catch-22 because we want to develop marina infrastructure but can’t do that until we can get people safely through the bar’, he said.
‘Over the years there have been hundreds of lives lost and in the latest incident in 2012 we almost lost the rescue crew and other boats.’
Cr Wright said although the $56 million proposal (which would have included 173 waterfront residential allotments, 250 apartments, and more than 300 commercial and private marina berths) was rejected, ‘it’s good that people thought Ballina was worth looking at’.
Cr Wright said the Port of Ballina Taskforce would continue to examine options for a marina.