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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Algal blooms and court appeals: A big night at Ballina Council

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Lennox Head featured heavily in last week’s BallinaCouncilMeeting with decisions on the Lennox Community Markets, the Lake Ainsworth Coastal Management Plan and Dog management at Lake Ainsworth and Seven Mile Beach all featuring prominently.

Councillors supported the staff recommendation to wait until after the summer season to consider the relocation of the Lennox markets to Lake Ainsworth.

A draft Lake Ainsworth Coastal Management Program report has shed some light on the causes of algal blooms. Photo Ballina Shire Council

The meeting then considered the draft Lake Ainsworth Coastal Management Program report.

The report highlights a number of factors contributing to algal blooms and poor water quality in the Lake, such as large nutrient rich sediment deposits, sunscreen, overcrowding and overuse.

The report estimates that peak holiday period visitor numbers now exceed 10 times the estimated carrying capacity of the Lake. The draft report will now be placed on exhibition for community feedback.

Staff also recommended that the dog off-leash area on Seven Mile Beach be moved south towards the Surf Club and that dogs be prohibited in the Lake Ainsworth area.

The majority of Councillors supported the proposal including an amendment from Cr Keith Williams that a dog on leash area be used as a buffer between the off leash and no dog areas.

Councilto Appeal Land and Environment Court Decision

At the conclusion of the confidential session of the CouncilMeeting it was announced that Councilhad decided to lodge an appeal against the Land and Environment Court’s granting of consent for the expansion of the Palm Lakes development.

Councilwill also seek the support of the peak body representing councils, Local Government NSW, with the appeal.

Cr Williams who moved the motion, said after the meeting that as the case involved important matters of law that could impact other councils,it was an appropriate case for seeking support via the peak body.


The meeting heard deputations from the Alstonville Agricultural Society, whose DA’s for fencing and tiered seating were subsequently approved, and from adjoining property owners impacted by the construction of the extension of Hutley Drive in Lennox Head, who were successful in securing amendments to reduce impacts in their property.

A deputation in favour of the Alstonville Dual Occupancy Planning Proposal was supported unanimously by Councillors.

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