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Byron Shire
June 22, 2021

Ballina councillors move to kill off ocean pool funding

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An ocean pool has been proposed for Ballina but moves are afoot to kill it off. Photo contributed.
An ocean pool has been proposed for Ballina but moves are afoot to kill it off. Photo contributed.

Three Ballina shire councillors are today trying to overturn a decision to spend $15,000 on studies into a proposed ocean pool at Ballina.

The three councillors, Paul Worth, Keith Johnson and Ben Smith, have lodged a notice of motion calling for the decision, made at last month’s meeting, to be rescinded.

Neither Crs K Johnson or Worth are running for re-election.

The trio argue that when the ocean pool proposal was first presented to the council, it was on the basis that there would be no cost to the council.

‘The allocation of monies as per the existing resolution would be contrary to what was originally, and emphatically, stated and the commitment of no funding was one of the main reasons the proposal was initially supported,’ they said in comments attached to the motion.

‘For council to start allocating money to this project, when we already have significant financial commitments to the Ballina and Alstonville swimming pool redevelopments, will only result in unrealistic expectations that the ocean pool will be delivered by council.

‘Council has not set any funding aside for this project in our long term financial plan and it is important that we focus on our existing priorities rather than creating unrealistic expectations for another facility.’

Lennox Head-based councillor Jeff Johnson moved the original motion to allocate the $15,000 towards studies.

He lodged it on behalf of the Ballina Ocean Pool Committee in an effort to attract funding for engineering and environmental reports.

‘The Ballina Ocean Pool committee meet regularly and have gained widespread community support for an ocean pool at Shelly Beach,’ Cr Johnson said.

Cr Johnson argued that most of the work so far on the proposed pool had been carried out voluntarily by local experts, but the final brief needed reports from a geomorphologist (coastal processes) and an engineer with ocean pool expertise.

The council is meeting today at the Cherry Street chambers.

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  1. $15,000 is peanuts compared with the benefit to the community of the pool. Crs Johnson and Worth will probably spend as much on their farewell.

  2. I’m fed up with people wasting money. I have to budget, am I the only one??
    Please prioritise expenditure for projects.
    Elderly, children, mothers, fathers, the lonely and animals.
    I don’t see altering a beautiful beach for a pool on that list. You’ve already spend thousands on pools in the Shire.
    Politicians spend money because its not theirs (Census)
    and now Councillors !!!! Who will I vote for???


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