23.4 C
Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

South Ballina residents fuming over ferry hike

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

The legal smoke

Paul Rea, Coorabell While Labor stopped taking donations from the tobacco industry in 2004 and the Liberals followed suit a...

Meet local firies and save lives, including your own

Meeting local firefighters and learning about home fire prevention is really important and more so in recent times and into the future.

Northern Star dimming under Murdoch shadow

As democracy advocates and journalists around the world did their best to acknowledge World Press Freedom Day on May 3, in regional Australia, The Northern Star was dimming.

More money for Byron Shire roads and bridges

The NSW government has announced almost $5 million dollars in funding for Byron Shire infrastructure.

Wanted: Bangalow and Byron ‘Induzzy’ reps for town projects

Residents of Bangalow and the Byron Arts and Industry Estate are invited to apply for positions on the Byron Shire Council’s Place Planning Collective

Residents living south of the Richmond River are angry at plans to double the fees on the ferry. (picture: trip advisor.com.au)
Residents living south of the Richmond River are angry at plans to double the fees on the ferry. (picture: trip advisor.com.au)

Darren Coyne

South Ballina residents are up in arms at plans to double the annual ferry charges.

They say the hike will have a ‘crippling effect’ on residents living in Wardell, Patches Beach, Empire Vale, South Ballina and Keith Hall.

In a letter inviting Ballina shire councillors to a meeting next Saturday, spokesperson Jenny Adler said the rate rise was ‘unprecedented’ and follows years of community concern about the operation of the ferry.

Ms Adler said most families had two or more cars for family members or business purposes, and the ‘doubling’ of the ferry charges would cause considerable hardship.

In her letter, Ms Adler holds no punches, accusing the council of being ‘indifferent, wasteful ad inefficient.

She said a two month audit conducted by the South Ballina Community Association had revealed alleged anomalies in regards to the number of users quoted by the council.

‘From the ‘counts’ of casual ‘pay as you go’ trips and annual ticket holders on the ferry, the statistics seemed to reflect that the ferry costs were well covered by the number and types of payments of cars that we observed during the audit,’ she said.

‘There is no inference of any wrong doing by the ferry drivers per se, as casual users were observed paying and receiving receipts.

‘The discrepancy lies in the observably income versus the reported income;

Ms Adler said the figures collected by the group, if extrapolated over a 12 month period, the ferry was making more money than claimed by the council.

She said members of the ‘ferry sub-committee’ of the South Ballina Community Association had been denied access to the ferry accounts, and requests for meetings had been refused.

Others concerns raised in the letter to councillors are that there is no disaster or replacement plan for the ferry, and ongoing problems with the solar-powered gates on the ferry.

‘Council has not acted well or acted without self-interest in relation to the management of the ferry,’ she said.

‘Despite a request by the community to have the ferry put into the hands of a community-managed ferry trust, so that all these issues could be addressed, no response has ever been received.

‘Council has actually blocked our ward representative from attending ferry meetings.

Ms Adler said residents living on the south side of the river had been neglected for years.

‘At no time in the history of the South Ballina area has any Section 94 developer contributions been apportioned to the community: not one cent for sports fields, playgrounds, community meeting space, bike paths etc.

‘We are being ripped off.’

The meeting will be held at 3pm on Saturday, 23rd May at the Empire Vale School Library.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.