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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Not all Lennox residents oppose lake road removal

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Photo of existing road and an interpretive illustration of proposed changes. Image supplied.

The Lake Ainsworth Interest Group (LAIG) says that many Lennox Head residents support Ballina Council’s plan to create a parkland on the east side of the lake, despite calls for the eastern road to stay.

While a rally against the council move is set to go ahead this Saturday, an LAIG spokesperson said feedback from its first information stalls, conducted last weekend, was ‘informal, relaxed and overwhelming positive.’

Shaun Eastment said the group wanted to ‘create an environment where people felt comfortable to ask questions, voice concerns or express their support for the project.’

‘It was nice to hear from a wide variety of people, many of whom are really looking forward to enjoying the lake without all the cars,’ she said.

She added that while a few people expressed concerns about paid parking, ‘the mayor was also in attendance and ruled out the prospects of any paid parking at the lake.’

The group also claims ‘an increasing mood of frustration’ in the community over the issue.

‘More and more people are saying that they’ve had enough of all the delays to create the park – they are frustrated and want to see the council get on with the job,’ Ms Eastment said.

‘It’s not an option for the east road to stay how it is – it’s dangerous and there’s not enough space for people to sit and enjoy the lake.’

‘We really want to see the east side of the lake prioritised for people, not cars,’ Ms Eastment said.

Dr Lyn Walker, another group member, queried how people would feel if the road were being proposed nowadays.

‘Imagine if the area were already a lovely parkland and the council wanted to take that from us to put a road and car park in – it would seem preposterous and there would be outrage.

‘We understand that people may be sick of hearing about the lake works (and the east road), but we’re asking for one last effort from anyone who supports the works to ensure that we make it happen,’ Dr Walker said.

Further Lake Park ‘Info Spaces’ will be held over the next two weekends, 9am till 12pm.


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  1. The above is a factual overview of why so many Lennox people – and others who visit the lake – are keen to see the Council’s plans implemented.

    * Safety for pedestrians – young and old alike,
    * Access for people with a disability, elderly people and others who’ve not found the present arrangements accessible,
    * Repair of the foreshore vegetation (“riparian zone”),
    * Stormwater management that will enhance Lake water quality,
    * A new dog-walkers’ entrance close to parking + dog washing facility,
    * Replacement parking, incl. more spaces for those with disabled permits, and
    * Open natural parkland for active and passive recreation.

    If you doubt the above, please check out the Council’s webpages.

    Yep – lovin’ Lake Ainsworth!

  2. ‘Not all Lennox residents oppose Lake removal’. That’s true. I once saw perhaps all ten of them posturing as protectors of the environment in a mid 2016 Byron Echo photograph (to which a link is unavailable)
    That’s not many people compared to the hundreds of people who marched against the road closure on the hottest day of year last year

    https://www.echo.net.au/2017/02/lennox-takes-street-lake-road Lennox takes to the street over Lake road, Byron Echo, February 15th 2017

    In the context of Lennox Head this was a huge demonstration which sent a very clear message.

    Its no-good setting up a card table trying to get your propaganda in first before Saturdays protest. Or pretending that a lot of people support the road closure. Nor to suggest there are no plans to introduce paid parking. Clearly, if the car park is closed their will be no other option because of holiday period over spill of visitors.

    If everyone marches again on Saturday then this intrusion in our way of life will finally be dumped in the bin.

    Calling all dog walkers, mums with kids, beach walkers, lake swimmers and picnickers. Please stand up to the selfish wowsers and busybodies who masquerade as green and march this Saturday.

    • Hey Blake,
      Not sure if you’ve seen how busy that road gets on any given day over the Summer Holidays from around 10am to 5pm. Its gotten way worse over the 5 years. If you are there at 7am walking you dog you probably wouldn’t think there was a problem. In my view its simply gotten to a point of unsustainability, whether the road was fixed or not, the shear amount of traffic at peak times has got to be bad for the area. I also think the people you identify in your last paragraph would most likely have a nett benefit from the parklands proposal. I hope all involved in your rally are well informed with correct and verifiable information.

  3. “Calling all dog walkers, mums with kids, beach walkers, lake swimmers and picnickers.” Would you prefer a road and carpark or some trees and a people park.

  4. I am a local resident who is also a dog owner. I love walking my dog on the beach. I cannot understand why people are opposing the removal of that ugly road. It doesn’t belong there.

    I am just one of the many locals who is fine with walking and is not so hot headed enough to march and protest.

    I foresee beautiful shady places for people to sit and enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of the lake. At the moment I see hot headed people fighting for a parking spot and even worse a child being hit by a car.

    It is a no brainer.

  5. Gina

    I foresee hundreds of people gathering peacefully to protest just like last year. As per the photograph underneath.

    Lennox takes to the street over Lake road, Byron Echo, February 15th 2017

    You are portraying protesters as ‘hot heads’ because you want the lake road closed and are nervous about the message another large gathering will send. Are the Lennox Head residents who protested against the ski jump last year also hot heads?


    This time around the council is being more tricky and has not set a proposed date for the closure. Knowing that once it does even more people more protest.


    Everybody knows that the lake is only busy for six weeks or so.

    Interestingly, Councilor Johnson who initiated the road closure proposal and normally enjoys the spotlight is keeping very quiet. Ever the consummate political entrepreneur, Lennox Heads imaginary Mayor might be keeping quiet to make sure he doesn’t lose a shed full of votes at the next election.

    Last years large protest sent a very clear message. It really was a huge in the context of Lennox Head. Why is the council making everyone protest again?

    Remember, a protest against the road closure is also a protest against the introduction of paid parking. If the lake car park is closed the loss of parking spaces will necessitate that paid parking be introduced to deter visitors.

    The hand full of wowsers masquerading as Greens are worried that another large march which will consign the proposal to the rubbish bin. Which is why all ten or so of them have been posting in the Echo this week.

    Please protest on Saturday

    • Hi Blake
      I believe the mayor has stated that there is no intention to put paid parking in place in that area. Unfortunately that argument has been used to induce people to sign that petition that Pip Carter had floating about. I know the arguments for both sides but I feel there has been alot of misinformation put out there to sway peoples opinion. I wish there was a “save the lake” march on Saturday. i think it would be much more community building than than the “save the road” March

  6. David

    Yes, I too wish you would organize a close the road protest. Because the usual dozen or so wowsers masquerading as Greens would attend and that would spell an end to the unpopular plan.

    1. Please call a protest. 2. Take a photo of it 3. Compare it to last years protest at .

    Lennox takes to the street over Lake road, Byron Echo, February 15th 2017

    As for paid parking, of course the mayor would say that. He is a politician not an idiot.

    As I wrote above, Its no-good suggesting there are no plans to introduce paid parking. Clearly, if the car park is closed their will be no other option because of the holiday over spill of visitors.Plainly, you only pretend to believe the Mayor to further your agenda.

    Didn’t the Byron Bay council assert their their were no plans to introduce paid parking elsewhere in the run up to its introduction in Byron Bay? Ask the residents of Brunswick Heads and Bangalow how that worked out. Going back further, when paid paid was initially introduced outside the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay cast iron assurances were given that it would never be introduced anywhere else in town. The rest is history.

    Please protest on Saturday to stop: (a) the road closure (b) paid parking (c) the wowsers masquerading as Green.

  7. It’s a great idea, as the Lake will only get busier open space is desperately needed. There is almost no open green space for kids in Lennox, this will be a great thing for families with small children.

  8. Blake
    Believe me, I am as sceptical of the political system as you are. In the context of this debate, Paid parking is mute. If there is a road there or not, But I guess if thats the best argument you have then I guess you have to run with it whether its real or not. Also, you seem to have some comprehension issues with the way you read my last paragraph in my previous post.

  9. David

    Whether you like it or not ‘saving the lake’ has been conflated with ‘closing the road’. .

    But their are indeed many reasons to leave the road open.

    The close the road lobby ignore that the Western side of the lake is currently protected and gloss over that diverting traffic to this side of the lake will degrade it. Algal blooms triggered by agricultural run off are a far greater threat to the health of the lake than six weeks of school holiday traffic. The lakes ecosystem regenerates after each algal bloom seeded by the healthy western side of the lake. Those are excellent reasons to leave things alone.

    Other arguments for keeping the road open include. 1, Out of school holidays,the lake is hardly used and is a safe community park with plenty of grass to sit on 2. The current road allows the community park to be patrolled by the police 3.If police patrols stop anti social behavior will rise. 4.Current road access allows the disabled, the elderly and mum’s with kids to pitch up by the lake side with all their stuff 5.The plan to divert traffic past the caravan park is dangerous.

    Up until around twenty years ago I also thought the road should be closed to protect the lake. But I came to realize that this egalitarian community space benefits the well being of the community as a whole .I also realized that the lake is not a museum and that its western side acts as a nature reserve which regulates the health of the lake.

    The real mute issue is that this is a struggle over resources. At the end of the day the ‘close the road’ lobby (aka the save the lake group) are intent on discouraging yucky people in their cars from Casino, Lismore and Ballina from using the lake. Its ugly to see and goes against the grain of Australian egalitarianism.

    Now more than ever the community needs spaces like this. The last thing it needs is more self interest cloaked as concern for the environment.


    • Blake.
      You have valid points in you last post.(apart from the bit about yucky people).Most of those other points would be considered in the council’s proposal. Whatever happens we are in for interesting times.

  10. Blake you seem pretty threatened by ten people and a card table. Perhaps it’s time to admit that Pips claim that 90% of people want the road open is blatantly untrue. Vitriolic garble such as yours and actions such as graffitiing town are why a lot of people don’t want to publically speak out on the matter. You can have an opinion, make your point, and rally without personally attacking people.

  11. Heard whilst walking beside the lake.

    “Won’t it be great that I won’t have to keep saying to the kids “look out for the cars” when there’s no road down the side of the Lake”. I heard a mother say this yesterday whilst keeping an eye on her three year old.

    Her friend with two primary school aged kids agreed saying “I can’t understand why people are putting cars ahead of safety”.

    I’ve seen the young Nippers crossing the road from the Surf Club to the Lake, shepherded by wary adults as cars pass by. Won’t it be a breeze for them when there’s no road to cross.

    Here’s for a safe, accessible eastern foreshore of our very special lake.

    From a member of the mostly silent majority that supports Council’s plans.

  12. As a Lennox Head ratepayer for 15 years I sent this submission to Ballina Shire Council-I agree with closing the eastern road at Lennox Head and giving it priority for pedestrians.
    1- A fire escape soft surface road from the Recreation Centre suitable for emergency vehicles should remain on eastern side.
    2: Wombat crossings or speed limiting devices or design on the western road as vehicles speed along that section .
    3: No Parking signs placed along most of the western road to stop access to lake on western side .
    4: No Lake Access signs or fences to stop people using the middle western to north western part of lake edge.
    5: Loading Zones spread around lake perimeter road to allow for drop off and pick up of people and gear.
    6: Mobility impaired ramps with associated parking.
    7: Wildlife Zone and sign for vehicle drivers on western road. Maximum speed 40kmh.
    8:Vehicle beach access restricted to only BALLINA Shire residents or approved businesses via leases.
    9: Increase vehicle beach access fees .
    10: Paid Parking for premium lake perimeter car parks and 4 hour limit 24/7. (To deter campers , caravan park patrons and give all a fair access to lake
    11: Bank erosion control and fences to keep the public out of regeneration areas
    12: Soft surface crossings from car parking area to lake . Bitumen is very hot on feet.
    13: Designate the whole south western road from Surf Club to north caravan park boundary as a Shared Zone . Designed to protect children and give priority to pedestrians instead of cars.
    14: Nose In angle parking for maximum car parking. Allow for longer camper van parking zone close to Surf Club .
    15: Allow for a pathway for bicycle riding on eastern perimeter with bike parking racks scattered all around the lake.
    16: Water bubblers spread around the lake.
    17: Ensure toilets are available in eastern , western and southern sections.
    18- Remove all lighting around lake or provide lighting that does not cause ‘lighting pollution ‘.Apply the appropriate Australian Standards https://www.lightingcouncil.com.au/files/Major%20revision%20of%20obtrusive%20%20lighting%20standard%20AS%204282.pdf

  13. Sam C

    Vitriolic? Describing a dozen or so close the road activists as wowsers is accurate and quite polite if you think about it. After all, they are trying to stop several thousand Northern Rivers residents picnicking and swimming at the lake.

    Also, it is absurd to conflate the actions of the lone graffiti nutter with last year’s peaceful protest by residents.

    Lennox takes to the street over Lake road, Byron Echo, February 15th 2017

    As for paid parking, Geoff Bensley gives the game away when he suggests:

    10: Paid Parking for premium lake perimeter car parks and 4 hour limit 24/7. (To deter campers , caravan park patrons and give all a fair access to lake).

    Fair go? I think not Geoff. This all about limiting the access of the unwashed masses to the lake


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