Residents of Lennox Head are thrilled by the success of their action over the last few months to stop the proposed Lennox Head aerial ski jump. Local Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW Ben Franklin used the rally against the ski jump on Saturday as a platform to announce that the ski jump was not going ahead in Lennox Head.
Many residents felt that the NSW office of sport had presented the proposed jump as a ‘fait accompli’ to the local community with no consultation or understanding of the impact. Quick to react the local community came together to protest against ‘this blight on this pristine coastline’.
‘We are so happy,’ said one of the local organisers Lyn Pool.
‘We thought that we’d be doing this for months. This was an amazing group of people.’
‘None of the action groups had ever done this before,’ continued her husband Brian.
‘None of us had any experience in protesting.’
‘Our Lennox Against the Ski Jump Action Group were an extraordinary group of people who were determined to fight relentlessly to stop the ski jump from happening in the village,’ said Lyn.
‘It is with great relief & pride that we succeeded in protecting our beautiful, pristine coastline at Lennox. We are absolutely exhilarated with the results.’
Final confirmation that it would not be built at its current site was received after a meeting between Mr Franklin and Sports Minister Stuart Ayres late this week.
‘The proposed ski jump and multi-purpose pool facility will not only help train a new generation of Australia’s top athletes in disciplines including aerial skiing, snow boarding and gymnastics, but offer enormous benefits for regional NSW,’ Ayres said.
‘We’ve listened to the community and the facility will not proceed at its current site. We’re looking for an alternative site for this unique facility.’
Local Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, also attended the rally on Saturday and highlights the importance of local communities taking action against inappropriate development.
‘Congratulations to the Lennox Head community and their supporters, they can be proud of themselves for standing up for what they believe in, and for protecting our coastal landscape,’ said Smith.
‘I was told that the Minister made the decision to axe the ski jump several days before Saturday’s rally took place. The decent thing to do would have been to issue a media release and not force people to come out on their precious time off just to satisfy the egos at the National Party – we’re not backdrops in some larger political power play. This proves community activism can have results.’
This sentiment was echoed by another event organiser Melitta Firth who said with excitement:
‘Lennox Head took on the state government and the winter olympic committee and won.’
Interest in locating the ski jump has been expressed by both Jindabyne where a similar plan had been put forward eight years ago as well as by Lismore council according to member for Page, Kevin Hogan.