Ballina is set to build a new marine rescue tower after more than $400,000 funding was secured for a replacement building this week.
Greens Ballina MP Tamara Smith said the state government contributed $215,000 towards the final costing of the marine tower project to match $200,000 in grant funding she had already secured for the project.
Ms Smith said she pleased to announce she has successfully negotiated with the government to deliver a new building to replace the old ‘leaning tower’ for marine rescue operations, which closed last month after it was declared dangerous to volunteers.
Marine Rescue NSW decided to close the radio tower building after several accidents in the old building over the years, including a recent one where a volunteer was injured and concussed while climbing the stairs.
The radio control room was relocated temporarily to a nearby building used by Ballina Marine Rescue, which does not have a view of marine craft, till funding was found for the new tower.
Ms Smith said ‘It is with a strong sense of gratitude and a deep respect for the tireless commitment of Ballina’s Marine Rescue volunteers that I proudly announce that the funding for the construction of the new Marine Tower has been secured’.
‘This breakthrough comes after more than a decade of inaction. I am sure this news will come as a great relief to the Ballina and wider community, particularly those who’ve been campaigning for a new tower for over a decade.
‘I’m delighted to have delivered this important facility and will continue to ensure our community gets the support it needs.
‘This success shows that an active community and a strong local MP can cut through the red tape and secure funding for these important projects.
‘May the tower lean on no longer, and let the building begin!,’ Ms Smith said.