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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Rally to stop road closure at Lake Ainsworth this Saturday

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The closure of the eastern foreshore road at Lake Ainsworth has raised passions and Preserving Lake Ainsworth inc have called for a protest rally this Saturday at 10am at Lake Ainsworth.

Preserving Lake Ainsworth inc have gathered 4,050 signatures in an attempt to stop the road closure and claim that it cuts out 120 car parks and long vehicle parking including easy disabled access to the lakes eastern foreshore that will be replaced by only 68 formal car parks.

The group have also raised concerns relating to the impact on parking for the Lennox Head Surf Life Saving and the 300 nippers they have signed up over the summer saying that there is nowhere for parents to park.

‘The Lennox caravan park now has to be fenced off as all traffic is to be diverted in front of the park,’ said rally organiser, Don Opie.

‘That places 800 vehicle movements in front of the caravan park and people will be forced to cross by formal crossings with all gear.’

Misleading information

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright has responded to the call for a rally saying ‘I know that people who do not want to see the eastern road closed are passionate. However, it concerns me when I see information that is potentially misleading or incorrect being put into print.

‘One example of the misleading information is the mention of paid parking in the petition/letter the community group are asking people to sign. Council has never had any plans for paid parking in this location.’

The mayor also disputes claims that the dog exercise areas would be lost, that the development application is not supported by Council technical staff and that access to public land will be lost.

‘All people will still be able to access this location with the only difference being that you will not be able to drive vehicles along the eastern side of the Lake.

‘Importantly the Council plans include dedicated disabled car parks along with disabled access to the Lake that meets contemporary standards.’

Council’s planning application available on the home page of Council’s website.


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10 COMMENTS

  1. Reasons why i’m supporting road closure.
    1. Observation of peak traffic flows and parking congestion: At the the moment it is bad and will get worse with increasing popularity of the area.
    2. Physical geography of the location. Its a very fragile system. A narrow parcel of land between a lake and ocean separteted by dunes and coastal vegetation. Seems illogical to populate it with bitumen and all the polutants that come with cars. ie fumes, oil run off etc.
    3. Environmental standards today would probably not allow for such a road to be placed there.
    4. Its not a scalable solution for the car parking issue. ie if you needed more parking areas you would need to create them elsewhere.
    5. Without cars it seems like the space would have available for more people to enjoy the natural aspects of the lake with the uninterrupted parkland proposed. At the moment on the eastern bank there is very little room to use and its exacerbated by the constant traffic flow.
    6. Ongoing Traffic / Safety and environmental issues can be handled with planning and engineering as stated in the Mayors letter back last Feb.

    • Right on David. We have a fragile natural environment Lake Ainsworth populated by irresponsible people who are exploiting the fragility of the system. To protect the system we have to restrict the number of people and cars frequenting the Lake.
      Lake Ainsworth lived and breathed for 80,000 years under Aboriginal control without cars, now with white man the Lake’s banks are eroded and the water is getting polluted. More trees need to be planted where the road is to protect that land from the Lake and the ocean.
      Or we could just let the masses stomp in bringing their Four-wheel drives in, tramping over everything destroying what has been there for millions of years until the place is uninhabitable.
      I am a tourist from another place. Yes, tourists bring money into your area.

  2. There will never be enough parking. You could build a multi storey car park and it wouldn’t service parking into the future. We need safe green space for people to enjoy. People don’t expect to get a car park close to Bondi, or wategos, why should the Lake be any different. The plans allow greater access for people with disabilities. The claims from those trying to “save the road” that 90% of local residents agree with them is just false!

  3. Council have been urged by residents since the mid 1990’s to do something to treat stormwater runoff before it enters the Lake, improve pedestrian safety along the eastern side of the Lake, address the degraded riparian zone and enhance the natural feel of the space as respite from the increasing urbanisation of the town and its surrounds. After 3 community consultations over the years which endorsed closure of the road as part of the plans to address these issues Council finally was able to fund the works. Unfortunately the corridoe between the dunes and the Lake is too narrow to accommodate an effective, top quality stormwater system, a footpath, a road (to today’s standards), parking and a n effective riparian zone. Seriously, to my mind, walking down a parkland for perhaps 300m to sit in a peaceful, traffic free location where kids can play safely is a pretty fair trade off for all of these gains.

  4. Council have been urged by residents since the mid 1990’s to do something to treat stormwater runoff before it enters the Lake, improve pedestrian safety along the eastern side of the Lake, address the degraded riparian zone and enhance the natural feel of the space as respite from the increasing urbanisation of the town and its surrounds. After 3 community consultations over the years which endorsed closure of the road as part of the plans to address these issues Council finally was able to fund the works. Unfortunately the corridor between the dunes and the Lake is too narrow to accommodate an effective, top quality stormwater system, a footpath, a road (to today’s standards), parking and a n effective riparian zone. Seriously, to my mind, walking down a parkland for perhaps 300m to sit in a peaceful, traffic free location where kids can play safely is a pretty fair trade off for all of these gains.

  5. I think the parkland will be beautiful. I can’t wait. I totally avoid the lake road in summer as it dangerous and just generally really unpleasant with all the cars.

  6. Thanks to the Mayor for providing clarity about the plans.
    Ballina Council has been thorough in their preparation of the plans for the south-east precinct of Lake Ainsworth, and are to be commended for their commitment to look after this unique location.
    There is a quiet groundswell of people supporting the development of parkland along the eastern foreshore, they are the mostly silent majority and have not resorted to grafitti, erroneous claims and fearmongering.
    The vocal opponents of the Council’s plans are fundamentally opposed to the replacement of the road with an access path which will only be available for emergency and essential service vehicles. The southern road will remain, and replacement parking has been provided.
    If that eastern foreshore were a parkland today and Council wanted to put a road through it there would be a tremendous outcry.
    So come on people, use your common sense, forget your car-dependency and enjoy the short walk along the lake’s edge.

    • Yes all five or six of them were at alternative rally today opposed to the hundreds at rally to keep road open let’s hope councillors were listening

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