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Byron Shire
January 18, 2022

Ballina council meeting round up

Latest News

TreadLightly on the planet by recycling school shoes

Most Aussie parents know how quickly kids either grow out or wear out of school shoes. They either get handed down or thrown in the rubbish – adding to the millions of shoes that end up in landfill each year

Other News

Frontline health workers supported

It started, in classic Byron style, with a batch of bliss balls. The homemade treats were whipped up for the nurses at Byron Hospital by local, Sarah Armstrong, after she heard how challenging life had been for them during the Omicron outbreak.

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

The Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’ to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics. 

Lismore Councillors sworn in and Committees decided

On Tuesday, Lismore City Council GM Michael Donnelly facilitated the swearing-in of the new Mayor and 10 Councillors in the chambers at Goonellabah.

Nurses help patients stay connected

When you find yourself in a hospital, most of us have rushed out the door with our phones in our hands, and without the charger.

TreadLightly on the planet by recycling school shoes

Most Aussie parents know how quickly kids either grow out or wear out of school shoes. They either get handed down or thrown in the rubbish – adding to the millions of shoes that end up in landfill each year

Psychedelic medical trials to begin

A new clinical trial exploring the impact of psychedelic medicines on brain activity has come a step closer to fruition, after being partially funded and granted ethics approval.

Review of determination Eatons quarry, Old Baggotville Road

Wardell resident Mia Cassidy gave a tearful deputation asking for Council’s help as her home and family suffer from the constant pounding of heavy vehicles. Suzie Whiteman circulated a video to Councillors and via Facebook showing the sheer volume of heavy vehicles transiting Wardell.

Council deferred reconsideration of the development application (DA) as there was no documented agreement for materials from the quarry to be transported via the construction corridor, as had been expected.

Deputy Mayor, Keith Williams, then moved a foreshadowed motion, ‘That Council take all necessary steps to implement  a temporary heavy vehicles speed limit of 40 km/h in the village of Wardell due to damage to council road assets and private property caused by heavy vehicles servicing the Pacific Highway upgrade.’

‘Local residents are literally being smashed by heavy vehicles,’ said Mr Williams.

‘All Councillors have received pictures of major cracking occurring in a number of local houses. It is our job to do what we can to help protect them. We also need to protect our own road assets. We are witnessing major damage to roads that were never built for this load. Slowing heavy vehicles substantially reduces the impact on roads, houses and people.’

The motion was adopted unanimously.

Pedestrian access and mobility plan

Council adopted its long term plan for footpaths and shared paths throughout the Shire after an extensive consultation process. Councillor Nathan Willis successfully pursued amendments to bring forward works to improve pedestrian safety on River Street, West Ballina into the next financial year.

Deputy Mayor, Keith Williams, successfully amended the motion to ask for a further report on potential shared path connections to adjoining Shires.

‘The rail corridor within Ballina was closed decades ago and has already been sold,’ said Mr Williams.

‘We can’t join the rail trail or benefit from its creation unless we plan how we will connect to our neighbours. Connection to a potential rail trail could be achieved by a “beside the road path” connecting to the rail line somewhere between Bangalow and Eltham.

‘Now we have completed shared pathways from West Ballina through to Lennox Head it’s also time we look further north and consider how we will connect to Byron Bay via The Coast Road to Broken Head.

‘Whatever happens with the rail trail or future public transport networks we should be planning this pathway network with our neighbours. Cycling is a growing form of personal and tourism transport and we need to be ready to take advantage of potential funding opportunities as they arise.’

Library Funding Cuts

Cr Nathan Willis moved his Notice of Motion regarding Library Funding cuts.

Council resolved to write to relevant State Ministers and local members to express its grave concern at the cuts to Library funding announced in the State Budget. A similar motion was adopted by the Richmond Tweed Regional Library Committee (Cr Willis is Chair) on Wednesday.


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  1. Ballina Shire Deputy Mayor, Keith Williams, is a forward thinking community leader regarding cycleways.
    The rail trail wont pass through Ballina, but he is thinking of ways to connect to it, as he sees the logical benefit to his shire.

    Gee, I so wish Byron Shire councillors were on the same page. They really, by majority, still can’t see the Green benefits in the trail, even with the corridor going right through their shire.!!

    What is it with some politicians?

  2. Can I suggest a wonderful and relatively cheap connection to the rail trail by using the old Pacific Highway. Much of the bypassed Highway is quiet and safe for cycling now and it would only need to have better sign posting. some cycle lane marking and some short connecting paths and off road lanes constructed at strategic narrow points. The greenway – as such on road routes made attractive and safe for cycling are called – would follow more or less the original alignment of the Pacific Highway from the rail trail near Bangalow; along the Hinterland Way – already a safe popular ride;- through Tintenbar and then along Old Bangalow Rd; by lanes or a path beside Tamarind Drive; a short constructed connection to well signposted paths through Ballina Heights and down to Ballina to Burns Point ferry; and following the pre-60s Pacific Highway to Wardell. I would call it the “Ballina Greenway”. After 2020 RV Council could consider extending it to Woodburn.

    This is not an alternative to the rail trail – many people are not confident to ride on roads and the rail trail has fewer hills. But it would be an economical way to connect to the rail trail. for those riders happy to ride on roads with no narrow sections and only a few hills. It would also be particularly appreciated by fly-in rail trial users who want to ride from Ballina. In response to this comment I would welcome any expressions of interest from people in advancing Keith William’s suggestion, using a Ballina Greenway or similar approaches


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