18.8 C
Byron Shire
January 25, 2021

Suffolk bike track project maintains trajectory

Latest News

Lismore police pursuit ends in charges

Police say a man has been charged over alleged pursuits and a crash overnight.

Other News

Ducking Gladys

 Alan Veacock, Cumbalum Gladys Berejiklian, our premier, finished an horrendous 2020, ducking and weaving serious claims of entrenched corruption within...

Bob Brown criticises Adani move to arrest journalist

Environmentalist Bob Brown has warned that Adani’s latest move to arrest an Indian journalist is designed to scare media away from investigating the company’s activity.

Is the failing state of the planet causing our youth to be stressed?

Poor mental health in youth is an ever increasing problem. It is often flagged at by the media and various organisations, and whilst there are often brilliant resources that can be found, when it comes down to the cause of the increase in mental illness in Gen Z, parents and caregivers tend to put it (somewhat jokingly) down to our phones.

Water in short supply for Alstonville on 27 January

Around 185 properties in Alstonville will be without water on 27 January wile the Ballina Shire Council installs a new water main. The outage will be from 9am to 3pm.

DA approval raises concerns over landslips and flooding

Council’s willingness to defend residents’ amenity and properties has been raised by concerned locals and residents following the outcome of the land and environment court case in Bian Court, Ocean Shores.

Wollumbin track closure may be permanent

Paul Bibby The debate over whether it’s appropriate to climb Wollumbin – also known as Mt Warning – could ultimately...

Hans Lovejoy, editor

Almost every Council meeting throws up hard decisions that must be courageously tackled, such as resolving competing community uses of public land.

At last Thursday’s Council meeting, councillors voted to proceed with plans for a pump track, or a BMX track, at the Linda Vidler Memorial Parklands, located in Suffolk Park.

Yet the chamber heard the decision comes without an adopted masterplan for the area, although a plan of management (PoM) was in place.

The chamber also heard additional drainage and infill works were also needed, no matter what occurs on the site.

The community gardens, which is also located in the park, said they were against, while the local soccer club were also vying for use. The associated staff report for the project said ‘conflicting demands’ for the space also included Arakwal interests.

During morning access, Tee Miller from the community gardens told councillors, via a prerecorded submission, that the gardens, ‘has been unable to develop its plans because it does not have a licence.’

‘Without a licence, access to funds and grants have proved impossible. Council staff told us we can’t apply for a licence until [the community gardens] are officially on the Linda Vidler Memorial Parklands masterplan’. Ms Miller said, ‘The pump track has no licence and no members, yet it is already on the masterplan, and has been given $118,700 of Council funds and now it wants $200,000 to build stage two, commencing in two months’ time’.

‘This puts the community garden at a disadvantage’.

Meanwhile, Donald Maughan from the Suffolk Park Progress Association told the chamber during public access that there is a huge demand from young people wanting to use the track, and that when built, an Alstonville bike group is ready to come to hold workshops.   

While independent Crs Coorey and Basil Cameron supported the proposal by the Suffolk Park Progress Association, Cr Alan Hunter spoke against. ‘This belongs to everyone’, the Nationals Party-aligned councillor said. ‘No one has a right to exclusivity’.

Meanwhile, Cr Paul Spooner (Labor), said it was ‘brave to vote against a masterplan and agree to whoever knocks at our door’. He said approval of the full plans was, ‘Thumbing our nose at process’.

Cr Spooner said, ‘We heard from other user groups to hold off. The community gardens and soccer club want the masterplan finished [expected to be in April, 2021]’.

‘We created a Catch-22 for one group, and for another we are writing the cheques’.

A motion by Labor’s Paul Spooner to approve construction of just stage one was defeated, and instead, an amendment by Cr Michael Lyon was successful, which authorises construction of stage one and allocates $200,000 ‘to allow the design and construction of stage two of the Pump Track’.

Council did not call for tenders for the project, according to the amendment, ‘because inviting tenders would not achieve a satisfactory result’.

‘Extenuating circumstances’ were provided in the amendment, including the company ‘already being selected by Council via market testing to construct’.

Crs Hunter, Spooner, and Hackett voted against.

News tips are welcome: editor@echo.net.au

Previous articleVote early, vote often
Next articleA time of loss

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. How right these words from Cr Hunter are:
    ‘This belongs to everyone’, the Nationals Party-aligned councillor said. ‘No one has a right to exclusivity’.
    Therefore the land has to be developed for all people. Just because a “Club” wants it or there is a club need does not mean it gets it. A Masterplan caters for all the locals, so it has to be investigated just why things are being left off the Plan. To leave things off the Plan is immoral and unethical. It means there is a bias.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Drowning risk warning for Australia Day weekend

Royal Life Saving is urging the public to take care around water this Australia Day weekend, with their research showing that the risk of drowning doubles on public holidays.

How the study of dolphin airways could help save endangered whales

Paul Bibby A new study exploring the health of dolphin airways has revealed findings that could help save endangered whale species. During an eight-month study at...

Conspiratorial breaths

R Podhajsky, Ocean Shores Thanks to the Collins English Dictionary 4th edition, for insight to the realm of words. Conspire 2, to act together towards...

Wollumbin track closure may be permanent

Paul Bibby The debate over whether it’s appropriate to climb Wollumbin – also known as Mt Warning – could ultimately be decided by concerns over...
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -