24.2 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Renewed push for smaller-scale indoor sports centre for Ballina

Latest News

Sally Flannery discovers dark side of ‘Lovemore’

Since declaring her interest in running for Lismore Council, local woman Sally Flannery has been subjected to sustained attacks, both online and upon her property.

Other News

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Mullum’s lilac house the subject of Change.org petition

The plight of a Mullum resident has touched the hearts and injustice buttons of people far and wide who feel that a requirement that she repaint her house a heritage colour and possibly pay a fine, not only ridiculous but also petty.

Councillors move to create alternative housing market

Byron Council is aiming to make 10 per cent of local housing genuinely affordable within the space of a decade, under a brave and ambitious plan to implement a Community Land Trust (CLT) model across the Shire.  

The importance of talking about ovaries

Brother and sister clothing designers Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman are, were 11 and 13 respectively when their mother died of ovarian cancer.

Empanadas and community spirit in wake of cancelled Bluesfest

With a collective sigh of disbelief and disappointment we processed the news that Bluesfest was cancelled

What’s the real cost of ‘affordable housing’? 

With ‘affordable housing’ being the new catchcry in parts of the Northern Rivers, The Echo did a ring-around to find the cheapest rental living space in Byron Bay’s caravan parks and camping grounds.

Darren Coyne

A Ballina councillor, sick of waiting for state and federal government grants, is pushing for a scaled-back version of an indoor sports centre.

Cr Ben Smith has lodged a notice of motion for this week’s council meeting calling for support to begin designing a sports centre with two indoor courts, with provision to add more courts in the future.

Ballina Shire Councillor Ben Smith. (file pic)
Ballina Shire Councillor Ben Smith. (file pic)

Cr Smith notes that the council has had funds set aside for three council terms, with reporting and discussion continuing for the past eight years.

The council wants to build an indoor sports centre that would double as a cultural centre, with the expected cost between $8 million and $12 million.

Cr Smith wants the plans to be based on the preferred site being either council owned land at Gallens Road or the Southern Cross Industrial Estate.

‘The initial evaluation is to assess which is the optimum site for this facility with that evaluation to be reported back to council for direction,’ Cr Smith said.

‘Council has had funds set aside for three terms for the design and development application for an indoor sports and cultural.

‘During this time council has had numerous reports on site options and design configurations.

‘Council had an onsite tour in Queensland the previous term, and more recently had a tour of Byron Bay’s facility which cost approximately $3 million.

‘Council had now also produced two reports on potential site options (with Gallens Road still coming out on top in both).

Cr Smith said demand for an indoor sports centre continues to grow, with the sports gym at Southern Cross School under pressure.

‘Approximately 15 of the 52 weeks are either unavailable or partly unavailable for sports hire due to increasing usage by the school,’ he said.

‘Additionally, sports like basketball in Ballina have continued to grow, the men’s competition was split across two nights last year as otherwise the last game for the night would have started past midnight.

‘The current Federal Government has a clear intent to make savings and reduce federal expenditure, there is little point delaying this project further in the hope of federal funding.

‘Additionally, while state funding from a potential poles and wires sale may or may not eventuate, it’s clear that council will come across no windfall from the state government any time soon and the promise of free depot site land is unlikely to eventuate.

‘Council can either continue to wait for state and federal government grants, and accessibility to Crown Land for this facility, or make a clear decision and move forward with the facility on council owned land that council can afford.

Prior to the last state election, both Labor and Greens candidates promised to deliver an indoor sports centre for Ballina if elected.

The council meets on Thursday from 9am.

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

SCU named as partner in two national drought hubs

Southern Cross University has been announced as playing a crucial partnership role in two new Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hubs.

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Help from Red Cross for flood-affected communities in NSW

With disasters coming thick and fast as the climate emergency worsens, Australian Red Cross this morning launched financial help for flood-affected communities in NSW.

Rocky Creek Field Day coming in July

As part of the Rural Landholder Initiative, rural landholders in the Rocky Creek area are invited to an Off-stream Watering and Riparian Habitat Field Day.