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May 11, 2021

Sunday rally planned for Lake Road, Lennox Head

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

Lennox Head residents are calling on their community to support keeping the Lake Road accessible for all at a public rally this Sunday.

Organisers say there will be a march as well as live music at Lake Ainsworth, Lennox Head from 10.30am.

Co-organiser Monique Pollock says, ‘Council plans to close the road on February 13 and locals believe it may be the last time visitors can enjoy the freedom of unrestricted access to the lake precinct, as well the last chance to demonstrate that people want the road left open.’

‘The Eastern Lake Road is on NSW Crown Land, managed by Ballina Shire Council for the recreational use by all people.

‘Newly appointed NSW lands minister Paul Toole has been sent a change.org petition with more than 1,000 signatures, asking him to keep the road open.

‘Previously, the decision has been criticised by  the NSW minister of sport, who labelled the decision as “odd”.

‘Locals are urging the council to upgrade the road and work on a best-practice functional plan to manage the whole lake environment and the people who visit.

‘Locals feel shutting the road, and not providing bins in that area, is not the answer in looking after the long-term health of the lake.

‘There have not been environmental studies done on the effect of increased traffic through the western road and the effects of increased patronage to the fragile environmental area.’


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16 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very one sided article. Three long standing Community groups, Ballina Environment Society, Lennox Head land Care and Lennox Head Residents Association support what has been a Council resolution voted on nine times since 2006. The three pro road closure councillors who stood for reelection last year were returned with massive majorities. Not so those two who campaigned on keeping the road open. All consultants reports and Council Plans since 2000 have confirmed problems with the east road, most notably safety concerns for recreational users especially children and environmental concerns for riparian zones and stormwater management. All expert consultants and scientists recommend no parking there.
    There has been considerable misinformation from keep the Road Open group ranging from level of support in the community to misunderstanding of scientific data regarding the lake health. They have consistent tried a push polling type of approach claiming restricted access for all sorts of people but mostly despicably that the disabled will not have access to the Lake despite frequently published plans showing the contrary. They have had many opportunities to convince Council with their arguments and have failed to do so. Most local shops displayed their petition the first time around but very few are now displaying their rally flyers. They persistently bother holiday makers. They have in the past proposed bulldozing into the protective dunes and still propose filling in the lake to make more room so that they can park in that very narrow space.
    In the last few weeks and days there has been vandalism, calls for sabotage, support for over 50% illegal parking in that fragile environment.
    Its not a community group, it seldom bothers to identify or authorise ts handiwork, its a rabble.

    • Sorry Lyn, time to set some truths free!

      Council technical staff, the ones with degrees in environmental science, engineering and town planning recommend the road remain with improvement works. Consistent lobbying of Councillors from the likes of those wanting the road closed convinced Council to vote against their own technical staff recommendations.

      Your claims are a very clever form of “green washing” Your argument about water quality was disproven (check beach watch water quality data at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/beach/starratingnorthcoast.htm so now you have moved to safety issues which are a farce (more on that shortly).
      For those that truly care for our local environment, please see Associate Professor David Lloyd speak about this issue via following you tube link.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqVNF3gI1sM&t=14s

      Did you know Ballina Shire Council revealed plans (only today) that the magnificent Melaluca’s, the ones that provided wonderful shade to our former markets, will be removed (the markets Ms Walker lobbied to have relocated from the lake on baseless claims) Yes, sorry to report that Council plan to cut down the Melaluca’s to appease a vocal few.
      At every Ballina Shire Council meeting, the first item is a verbal recognition of the traditional owners of the land, the local Bundjalung mob, yet Council did not engage with the local Aboriginal community in an area of known Aboriginal significance? Deeds not words usually work best!
      The group calling for the area to remain undisturbed (of which I’m a member) put a compromise plan to Council, even though our main priority is to keep the area undisturbed. No trees were to be removed, and no impact to the dunes, yet Ms Walker tout’s contrary claims! Appalling! I’m not sure how long Ms Walker has lived in the area, but the water level of the lake is governed by rainfall. The fact the road is falling into the lake is A. Council have neglected upkeep on the road despite the funds they receive annually from the state government in their caretaker role and B. the water level has been above average for the last few years. The road has actually stabilised the bank from further erosion and I’ve seen the Lake well over the road and seeping through the dunes into the ocean in the 1980’s.
      Regarding Council elections, at a public forum called “Meet the Candidate” 5-Sep-2016 before the local government elections, the Mayor David Wright, acknowledging this contentious issue and stated “we could have done the public consultation better”. Once Mr Wright was re-elected however, this statement and any actions behind it disappeared.
      As for safety, all traffic will be diverted to the western road that runs between the caravan park and the lake. The caravan park that is full of hundreds of kids in peak periods kids who can’t wait to run across the road and get wet. Cars will also traverse the unsealed western road, an area of pristine fauna that has not been disturb……..as yet!
      Ms Walker also claims we are not a community group, so it’s only fair I provide quick summary of the diversity of our group, those of us wanting the present environment left untouched include members from multiple local community groups and entities including but not limited to,

      Lennox Head Surf Life Saving Club
      Lennox Head Residents Association
      Dune Care
      Friends of Lake Ainsworth (who kindly pick up rubbish weekly)
      Club Lennox (Lennox Head Bowling Club)
      LeBa (Lennox Ballina Boardriders Club)
      Lennox Head Lions Club
      Lennox Head Football Club
      Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce
      Lennox Head Medical Centre

      Thanks for reading, more to come if the truth is breached again!

    • I failed to add that one of our members is a paraplegic, he is the one who has advised us that hills and sharp drop offs on the Southern end are not suitable for him and others in his similar, unfortunate position.

      Despicable indeed!!!

      and the truth will set you free!!

  2. IInteresting read Simon

    1. Firstly, cars & people in public places do not mix. That is best practice which the rest of Australia & world adopted decades ago as the standard.
    You may say no recorded incidents have occurred.
    Instead ask these questions:
    a) How many parents have yanked their kids to safety from a moving vehicle in that precinct?
    b) How many families do not visit the lake because of this risk? eg. used to come from Lismore for the day but don’t anymore.

    As for caravan park kids safety, why hasn’t the caravan park got a fence on that side, like all its other street frontages?

    People’s safety surpasses any educated Council staff’s opinion to fix the road because that does not change the safety issue for people. Can we assume Council staff for public recreational spaces had a different opinion to the road builders?

    So good on the so called minority for influencing the political system.

    2) Denying unrestricted access to the public, in particular the elderly and people with disabilities.

    No-one is being denied access, CARS are being denied access.

    Disabilities experts were consulted in the entire process & as one said “I didn’t have a problem with it but asked them to put in a disabilities ramp.” Council has done so.

    Please advise the gent who is paraplegic to talk to council about his access issues, they have stated at a community meeting on Tuesday they are happy to get feedback on such matters.

    A topic of this meeting was wheelchair access and the lake and council staff spoke about the access track, pathways between picnic tables, wider apron around tables to enable people using chairs to sit at tables, etc

    3) Water quality pedantics

    A forensic discovery of 2 errors in uploading data to a website doth not change the evidence-based normal distribution. Beachwatch consider Lake as wavering between high POOR and low GOOD range.

    4) Concern for pristine western side.

    Isn’t the western side of the lake where vegetation was cleared for power boats access to the lake?
    There’s still a BBQ there from those good ol’ days.

    I do not understand this concern for the pristine western side when a leader of your group wrote that the eastern side of the lake could be excavated to return it to the good ol’ days when the reed beds etc were excavated on the eastern side.
    What year was that?

    Another member of your group proudly stated that ex-council engineer was going to speakon at the Council’s January’s meeting. He offered the service of his excavator with the 18 metre arm to really get a good wide beach happening.

    5) Five tree removal, the rest are staying.

    The five trees listed for removal will be replaced with mature young trees. It is understood, this is so Essential Energy won’t have to keep pruning them. Have you noticed how deformed the trees are from the pruning so far?

    However, Landcare would prefer they stay & some judicious pruning could do the job.

    The plan for the Eastern Foreshore made public yesterday?
    It has been at the Community Centre for a couple of weeks and it was well publicised, locally.

    6) Indigenous segue.

    There are elders who are bemused by this argument, by your group.

    7) How come Lennox Head Residents’ Association is blamed for the road closure and Lennox residents were given tacit approval to bully LHRA?

    Lovely Lennox residents, who wanted to participate and know what was happening in Lennox community, have stopped attending LHRA meetings because of the combative nature of your group’s members attending.

    Check Ballina Council’s September Fact Sheet 2016 & you will discover that LHRA was a very small influencer in the big picture of the health of the lake and the safety of people.

    8) Sport Minister describes the road closure as “odd” statement.

    You accuse Lyn Walker of subterfuge, but keep rolling out this “odd” comment when this Sports Minister later formally wrote that he supports Ballina council’s decision (September 2016).

    As of this month, Crown Land has also said it is a Council decision.

    9) Whose paying for the cleaning up the graffiti mess?

    There may have been Lennox residents who were sitting-on-the-fence on the matter but you sure lost them when that happen when their rates have to pay to clean up the mess.

    10) Petition validity

    Please stop rolling out the petition argument, as you know, its integrity is dubious & no Council or State government is willing to table it.

    Anecdotal evidence is that many signatories would prefer to have not signed it because it has been used to divide their home town.

    E-petition has even less credibility in political circles, especially when it includes many non-locals and double-dippers. According to the e-petition response rate, my statistical mind estimates the “keep the road” open group has about 10% community support.

    11) Minority (or infernal greenies) are pushing Council around.

    According to the REAL statistics nearly 70% of Lennox residents support the road closure.”
    Therefore, nearly 70% of Lennox residents are “greenies”?

    My qualified observation is that the road closure and the new parkland supporters, are a diverse bunch on age, employment and political affiliations.

    The bottom line is- why is your group disrespecting & disregarding the well informed decision of the old AND new Council and the majority of Lennox residents?

    • Hi Monica,
      To address your questions and try and keep succinct, I will include your questions and my dot point responses below;

      a) How many parents have yanked their kids to safety from a moving vehicle in that precinct?

      • None that I am aware of. I took video footage over the New Year holiday period to highlight the dangers on the southern Rd where there are far more children crossing.

      b) How many families do not visit the lake because of this risk? e.g. used to come from Lismore for the day but don’t anymore.

      • None that I’m aware of.

      As for caravan park kids’ safety, why hasn’t the caravan park got a fence on that side, like all its other street frontages?

      • Great that you have highlighted an extremely obvious risk we have raised that was not addressed within plans. A question better directed to the Caravan park I would suggest.

      Please advise the gent who is paraplegic to talk to council about his access issues, they have stated at a community meeting on Tuesday they are happy to get feedback on such matters.

      • Will do, thank you.

      People’s safety surpasses any educated Council staff’s opinion to fix the road because that does not change the safety issue for people. Can we assume Council staff for public recreational spaces had a different opinion to the road builders?

      • That would be unwise, I believe assumptions are based on an individual’s own interpretation

      3) Water quality pedantics

      • It pays to be pedantic with water quality in my opinion especially when claims are inaccurate. The manager of Beachwatch informed me of one massive error which resulted in the inaccurate poor water quality findings, I was not aware of a second. To be fair, we thought it more equitable to show results from Beachwatch data over 10 yrs rather the hand picking good result and the findings were re-assuring as a parent with children who have frequent the lake for the last 15 yrs. Council have also conducted their own samples for Hydrocarbons and other nasties with very pleasing result. Council could forward a copy of the results in MS excel.

      Isn’t the western side of the lake where vegetation was cleared for power boats access to the lake?

      • No, that was the southern foreshore

      I do not understand this concern for the pristine western side when a leader of your group wrote that the eastern side of the lake could be excavated to return it to the good ol’ days when the reed beds etc were excavated on the eastern side.
      What year was that?

      • Vegetation and local wildlife is largely unaffected by human impact at present, hence the concern.
      • Council engaged a member of our group to excavate the eastern side of the lake up until the 1980’s and possibly early 1990’s I believe but I can’t be sure.

      5) Five tree removal, the rest are staying.
      The five trees listed for removal will be replaced with mature young trees. It is understood, this is so Essential Energy won’t have to keep pruning them. Have you noticed how deformed the trees are from the pruning so far? However, Landcare would prefer they stay & some judicious pruning could do the job.

      • Its actually 8 Melaleuca’s being removed, but you can be forgiven for not being up to speed on this as Council only provided the specific details Feb 8 on their website. See the review of environmental factors document. These magnificent trees provide such wonderful shade and ambiance. Mature young replacement won’t provide the same attributes in your or my lifetime unfortunately. The Melaleuca’s also stabilise the dunes from erosion as reps from Land Care or Dune Care should confirm.

      • We would prefer that the powerlines be diverted underground & Land Care may have also have a preference, but Council has plans.

      The plan for the Eastern Foreshore made public yesterday?
      It has been at the Community Centre for a couple of weeks and it was well publicised, locally.

      • Sorry, released on the website Wednesday, not all of us know the goings on of council or have time to check with the community centre. I’m now assuming there is a notice board there, so thanks for advising. The Review of Environmental Factors which is arguably the most important document, was only made public on Wednesday

      6) Indigenous segue.
      There are elders who are bemused by this argument, by your group.

      • It’s not an argument! It’s respect and consultation and should have been one of council’s priorities.

      7) How come Lennox Head Residents’ Association is blamed for the road closure and Lennox residents were given tacit approval to bully LHRA?

      • Not a question for me, I have never blamed LHRA.

      8) Sport Minister describes the road closure as “odd” statement.
      You accuse Lyn Walker of subterfuge, but keep rolling out this “odd” comment when this Sports Minister later formally wrote that he supports Ballina council’s decision (September 2016).

      • I can’t recall ever rolling out such comment. Let me know where/when

      9) Whose paying for the cleaning up the graffiti mess?

      • I don’t know who the culprit is but I would like to apologise for their behaviour as they obviously support the rally which is detrimental to the cause as you stated. I suggest some people don’t have the best coping mechanisms for proposed change to our village and are very passionate, but it’s not acceptable behaviour. I saw council staff paint over the road graffiti and noticed this morning that the developer has removed the old sign off the Ballina St property.

      10) Petition validity

      • We have the numbers Monica and I’m happy to share. You mention real statistics and in fairness you should share how you came to those numbers. There were also the public submissions to Council with only 65 participants. 33 were in favour of closing the road so it looks like its closure to 50/50 than perhaps both us care to believe.
      Hence why there has been calls for a plebiscite.

      If 51%+ wanted the proposed works to proceed, I would support the result. Would you if it didn’t fall your way?

      11) Minority (or infernal greenies) are pushing Council around.
      According to the REAL statistics nearly 70% of Lennox residents support the road closure.”
      Therefore, nearly 70% of Lennox residents are “greenies”?

      • I can’t comment on your statistics, however if correct I reckon they would be mortified with the proposed removal of the trees.

      The bottom line is- why is your group disrespecting & disregarding the well informed decision of the old AND new Council and the majority of Lennox residents?

      • We aren’t disregarding or disrespecting Council and residents. All we have done is ask questions as to why the well-informed decision makers missed very crucial matters. You will note my correspondence is far from disrespectful and I find it pitiful that those wishing to preserve and protect the present environment are accused of diving the community, however that is your opinion and you are well entitled.

      All the best.

  3. “…REAL statistics…”, Monica ? Where would one get those. You seem to be able to quote them quite freely. Could YOU be the source ? Back to the REAL point….Where are they all going to park when we loose over a100 parking spots ?

  4. Hey Tom, thought there was 120 carparks, this was the figure used by keep the road open’s graffiti artist. Which means at least 50 cars illegally parked and council has already provided the parking to replace this and wll be providing more. I see you also reckon cars should have priority over the safety of parents and children.
    bob w

  5. What is it with old men becoming obsessed with car parking? It would do your beer guts well to get off your butts and walk a little.

  6. My observation is that more verbally agressive members of the Lennox Head Residents Assoc are the one’s intimidating and bullying those in the street who disagree with their ‘close the road’ agenda. This has scared many locals who have an opinion but are too timid to speak it. The LHRA is a disgrace, not represented and should be disbanded. Councillors, please stop listening to and entertaining these bullies from LHRA, your credibility’s in tatters!

  7. Hi Geoff
    LHRA can’t win
    On one hand they have the rabid “keep the road open” blaming them for the road closure, when they went through a community consultation & not merely an association vote or an undemocratic declaration by a president .
    The people you are referring to are branch stacking the association. They arrived the day after the 2016 muster, fired up by the muster leaders.
    Gone are the days when we could have lovely productive meetings about improving Lennox community anenity

  8. Jeez LHRA can’t win.

    We have the rabid “keep the road open” blaming LHRA for the closure and now being blamed for being vigilants.

    Reality: The formal stance of LHRA is support for the closure of the road.

    This was based on quite a democratic proces.
    Instead of relying on the association members vote or the undemocratic process of a president declaring the association’s stance; LHRA conducted a consultation in the village and its 2015 Community survey, in conjuction with Lennox Wave, also reflected a lack of support for keeping the road open.

    And yet, the “keep the road open” supporters stormed into a LHRA meeting, the day after the 2016 Muster on the advice of one its speaker.
    Been disrupting meetings ever since & recruiting like mind spirits.

    Now other members of the Lennox community are being bullied by these people under the name of LHRA.

    Gone are the days when lovely LHRA members looked forward to its meeting and feeling they’re participating in improving amenity for the Lennox Community.
    We’re all being bullied

  9. Funny how when people run out if reasonable arguments that they resort to accusing their opposition if bullying. As for “intimidating” others – well you try using such a psychological predicate, but anyone can see that claiming victim status is a poor tactic. Better to argue facts.

    • Dear so-called Community Reps, my counter response. When 90% of the resident’s feel too scared so speak out then we have a local intimidation problem. If you wish to sweep any bullying and verbal intimidation under the carpet, then … go ahead. But in you doing so then it only sends the clear message to all the local community that the LHRA is all fine with a culture of intimidation in Lennox Head. Locals really would prefer you to wise-up, but if you want to keep on banging-heads then be my guest.

  10. We all REALLY know who the real culprits were in the verbal abuse, intimidating and bullying of the public and it has nothing to do with the LHRA, the same group who have graffitied the lake area and pavements in LH village, those who wish to keep the road open. After the majority of residents voted to close the road for safety and enjoyment for the public not cars.

    bob w

  11. HI Geoff
    The true measure of the pulse of the community is the hair dressers of the shire.

    They tippy-toe around ‘keep the road’ open people.

    But there is a communal sigh of relief when they and their clients realise they’re in safe place to disclose they are looking forward to a parkland.

    Says it all really.

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