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Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Greens slam ‘preposterous’ Lismore ski jump proposal

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Artists impression of the ski jump that was rejected by the Ballina Shire Council.

The Lismore City Council will next week consider a proposal to build an Olympic aerial training ski jump amid claims from the Lismore Greens that the idea is preposterous.

The matter is listed in a report titled Regional Growth Fund Applications in the meeting agenda for next week’s meeting.

Staff have recommended that the ‘Council negotiate with the Office of Sport NSW to facilitate the construction of the Winter Olympic Institute of Australia, athletes training jump on a site over which Lismore City Council has authority and control and that said negotiations be reported back to Council prior to any definite commitment being entered into over the athletes training jump or any specific site being determined for it.’

When the ski jump proposal went before the Ballina Shire Council (which rejected it), the constructions costs were listed as $10,500,000.

Lismore Greens spokesman John Corkill called on the council to reject the proposal.

‘From the limited information publicly available to Lismore residents, it seems the proposal involves the construction of a 38 m high tower, a long astro-turf ski jump ramp, and a landing pool, as a training facility for “elite” winter sport athletes, who normally compete in alpine conditions.

‘This proposal has no connection to Lismore and was recently rejected by Ballina Shire Council after community outrage by Ballina shire residents.

‘There is no local demand by local residents for this monster, and no business case has been put forward to explain where demand would come from.

‘It is highly likely that without proper due diligence into all the costs associated with it, that Lismore City Council will be saddled with the costs of maintaining or removing this dud facility.

‘Council plans to consider the Ski Jump at its next meeting, but has not released relevant information to the public, or held community consultations.

‘It looks like Council is trying to prevent the Lismore community from becoming informed, and mounting a similar campaign of community opposition.’

‘We object to the mayor trying to sneak such an unworthy, controversial proposal through Council’s final meeting for the year, as part of a larger agenda item, without proper public consultation,” he said.

“No government grants should be spent on this elitist proposal when there are so many other unmet needs in our community.

‘Many local groups calling for affordable housing, support for local kindergartens and children’s services, the provision of basic legal aid and tenants’ advice services, to name only a few, are crying out money from State and federal governments, for basic community services.

‘It is staggering that Nationals MPs Kevin Hogan and Thomas George want to spend public money on this elitist facility, when there are so many other local needs that remain underfunded.’

Meanwhile, the report to the council indicates that the ski jump facility would be used by the Winter Olympic Institute of Australia six months each year, with about 200 elite athletes using it.

The WOIA would pay rent for the facility, which would cover its operating costs, and the facility would be fully funded by the state government.

The council will consider the proposal at next Tuesday’s meeting.

 

 


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