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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Push to retain Lake Ainsworth road on agenda

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Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head. (pic lennoxpointofview.com)
Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head. (pic lennoxpointofview.com)

A Ballina shire councillor is pushing to retain vehicle access to the eastern side of Lake Ainsworth at Lennox Head despite a previous council decision to close off the area.

Cr Ben Smith has lodged a notice of motion that will be discussed at tomorrow’s meeting of the council, which is the first general meeting of the year.

Cr Smith motion coincides with a petition from the Stop the Road Closure committee, which was formed followed the council’s decision to close the road and turn it into open space.

The committee has collected more than 1300 signatures, and a representative is expected to speak at tomorrow’s meeting.

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

Cr Smith said it had been demonstrated that ‘over 90 per cent of the Lennox Head community wanted to retain access to the eastern side of the lake.

His motion calls on the council to incorporate a concrete shared path suitable for vehicle access to improve accessibility for elderly people, wheelchair users and others who require it.

He wants the existing road removed as part of his motion, which he argues would address concerns regarding increased traffic on adjacent local streets.

He said the proposed motion would be up to $200,000 cheaper than the currently agreed project specifications, meaning funding could be redirected to other improvements around the lake precinct.

‘The motion provides for significant drainage initiatives and environmental benefits that wouldn’t otherwise be realized under the current project specifications.


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  1. Where does Ben get the statistic that over 90% of Lennox reject the closure? 1300 people (not all Lennox residents) is not 90%, its closer to 10% and I was told by Pip Carter, the committee spokesperson, there were quite a few residents who didn’t want to sign the petition.
    The petition contained inaccurate information regarding scientific studies – and ignored the obvious – the stated 23,000 cars a year (prior to the opening of the Pacific Highway bypass) must have an impact.
    Think of the lake, separate vehicles from pedestrians and increase usable public space – Close the road.
    There are no easy answers to parking and congestion in Lennox – don’t sacrifice the health of the lake for your convenience!
    Also, the current plan includes an emergency access road / shared pathway, so the Notice of Motion is only changing the proposed construction from pervious material to concrete???
    Fiona Folan
    Ballina Environment Society.

  2. The vast majority of local residents want it kept open and it is cheaper. The Ballina Council staff recommended leaving it open so why do the Councillors want to close it?

  3. Exactly Fiona! It’s great to hear some sense! Where did they get that 90% figure? Why isn’t the paper calling them on it? Why didn’t the paper interview some people who support it. It has been in the works for years!!


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