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Byron Shire
June 22, 2021

Mayoral candidate wants to see ‘arts hub’ in Ballina

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L to R: Ballina councillor and mayoral hopeful Jeff Johnson, INXS' Chris Murphy and lawyer Nathan Luke. Photo contributed
L to R: Ballina councillor and mayoral hopeful Jeff Johnson, INXS’ Chris Murphy and lawyer Nathan Luke. Photo contributed

The manager of iconic Australian rock band INXS wants to be part of an exciting new arts and entertainment hub in Ballina. And mayoral candidate Jeff Johnson thinks the council could help him build his Golden Playpen.

Chris Murphy is considering establishing a permanent collection of the band’s archives in Ballina and says he knows ‘many industry movers and shakers’ who are also considering a move north.

Current Ballina Shire councillor and mayoral candidate for Saturday’s election Jeff Johnson is calling for council-owned land release adjacent to the airport in Ballina to be developed in a way that ‘creates new industry hubs that take advantage of the Northern Rivers existing talent pool and emerging brands.’

‘I recently met with Chris and his local advisor, lawyer Nathan Luke of Stacks Law Firm to discuss the exciting possibilities that Ballina now presents,’ said Cr Johnson.

‘There are also numerous other amazing businesses that have been crying out for a modern, dynamic place to expand into or for new innovative businesses to “start-up”. It is now well recognised that the Northern Rivers is an incubator for modern business ideas and success.

‘In the past, Ballina has seen development being rolled out in an ad hoc way. With the new airport terminal funding secured and 40 hectares of new land being developed by Ballina Council, it’s important that this area doesn’t just get subdivided up into rows of factories and warehouses. It makes sense to create industry hubs that take advantage of the regions strengths.

‘As Ballina Council owns this land there is a unique opportunity to create industry hubs with a focus on our arts and creative industries, value adding our world renown agricultural products, and leveraging off the millions of tourists that visit our region each year,’ Cr Johnson said.


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