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Byron Shire
July 6, 2022

Lennox ski jump: What economic benefits?

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Artists impression of ski jump. Supplied by Office of sport NSW.
Artists impression of ski jump. Supplied by Office of sport NSW.

The office of sport confirmed that they have ‘not prepared any reports on the economic benefits to the local businesses in the Ballina area’ in an email to Peter Drew of Ballina council, listed in the development application (DA) documents online, on the 16 May.

Economic benefit has been put forward by supporters of the Lennox Head ski jump, including local Mayor David Wright, as a key reason that the proposal should be accepted by the local community.

‘The Office of Sport have pushed the economic benefit angle on the Lennox Head community as to why the jump will be worth the detrimental damage to the coastline,’ said Michelle Shearer, spokesperson of Lennox Head Against the Ski Jump (LHATSJ).

‘We have since found out that the NSW Office of Sport has not provided any report regarding the economic benefit as part of their DA; so the criticism from the QLD State Government in 2012 (that concluded with the rejection of this development) for it having zero business case for the region stands with this DA also.

We believe that the Office of Sport’s argument of economic benefit to the Lennox head community is therefore unproven at best, and worst, fabricated.’

At 35m high from ground level the jump is predicted to be between ten and thirteen storeys high. Lennox Head and surrounding areas have a two storey limit on buildings height raising concerns by residents that the ski jump will be out of character for the area and will ruin the local coast line.

‘In the main, the community is united against this wildly inappropriate development,’ continued Shearer.

‘We are dismayed that despite strong community opposition, Council are unable to respond and now, because this is a Crown development, the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRRPP) is unable to refuse it either. The decision could ultimately be made by Planning minister Anthony Roberts.’

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  1. Time and again we see dubious claims of economic benefits being used to argue the case for development or even events. In the Tweed, we’ve seen organisations put on events on public land, and have the hide to charge council a “hosting fee” for the privilege. A few years ago one such event was held on the beach, and they brought in their own caterers. The local food shop owners across the road actually got less business than usual. So much for economic benefits

  2. We can expect a wave pool in the snow country for ice skaters, and a pier with boats in the dry Alice Springs stream bed next from these idiots.

  3. Are they crazy we have just had Cyclone Debbie that had winds of over 150 klms that would topple this all over Lennox, and approx 3 years ago Lennox Head was hit by a Tornado… remember… now they wish to place this wind collecting, diabolical, erection, on a magnificent part of the coast line…… that will be seen at sea for miles………. and ruin our amazing coast. A Ski lift in a tropical area. Where did that rational come from …. Go to the proper area. WHERE THERE’S SNOW….

  4. So . . . if I’m a ski-jumper, and I go to Lennox to this facility – where there’s no snow – I’m … going to climb to the top of this thing, strap on “skis”, slide down something slippery, then do a belly-flop in to lake Ainsworth, then, somehow, make my way (skis, presumably, still attached) back to shore? And this is supposed to, in some way, prepare me to compete in a Nordic competition? You can NOT be serious. Unless, of course, this is all a set-up for a Saturday Night Live skit. That must be it.

  5. Can’t people see? The purpose of the ski jump is merely to break the height limit for buildings. Once it’s there just watch the DAs for multi-storey hotels and apartments come flooding in. Bye-bye the Lennox we know and love.

  6. Now I can get in practice during the off season, so when I jump in my jet and fly to Aspen I will be King of The Mountain.

  7. There is no reason to question the immediate economic benefits or otherwise. It is an ugly facility being placed in a very beautiful and sensitive environment that generations enjoyed as school kids at the low key fitness camp, and families have been enjoying for a century. Our economic, ecological and community survival in a region so close to the the Brisbane Gold Coast area rests in part on high value low impact visitors, who appreciate a region that protects its environment from this sort of eyesore (notwithstanding one crustacean behemoth). Hurry up and finish the coastal walking and cycle path David and plan some safe cycling links to Byron Bay and the rail trail and we will get a lot of economic benefits without despoiling Lennox or Ballina.


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