20.5 C
Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Majority of Lennox businesses support WSL

Latest News

Dr Kerry Chant COVID-19 stats update for January 21 to 27 and local update

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant gave her weekly COVID-19 stats update this morning during Premier Dominic Perrottet’s press conference.

Other News

One death and 1,219 new COVID-19 cases in Northern Rivers

In the 24 hours to 8pm 25 January there was one death and 1,219 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD).

Dr Kerry Chant COVID-19 stats update for January 21 to 27 and local update

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant gave her weekly COVID-19 stats update this morning during Premier Dominic Perrottet’s press conference.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 26 January, 2022

There's still loads of stuff on in the Byron Shire and beyond

Man charged following pursuit – Far North Coast

A man has been charged with driving offences following a police pursuit in the state’s far north.

Check a charity’s status before donating to a good cause

It wouldn't be the first time generous people have been scammed by fake charities and in the wake of the Tonga disaster, Australia's charity regulator is urging a quick check before donating.

What does Australia Day mean?

Another Australia Day. Another divisive polemic about the date, the day, and its meaning. Those who seek to change the date argue that 26 January signifies the beginning of Britain’s invasion of Australia and the violent expropriation of Aboriginal lands.

The majority of the Lennox Chamber of Commerce businesses voted in favour of the WSL event.

The majority of businesses in Lennox Head have responded ‘yes’ to the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce survey asking if they were ‘in favour’ of the World Surfing League (WSL) being held at Lennox.

In all 40 local businesses completed the survey’s three questions with 70 per cent ‘in favour’ of the event at this point and 85 per cent in favour of the WSL being held at Lennox if it was ‘post-pandemic’ and ‘not held during the holidays’. This was despite the fact that only 65 per cent of businesses said that they would benefit from the event itself.

The majority of the Lennox Chamber of Commerce businesses voted in favour of the WSL event.

Community concern

However, according to local Ballina councillors Jeff Johnson and Keith Williams, who both have businesses in the area, the broader community had serious concerns over the event going ahead at this time.

‘As a Councillor, it was also clear that the broader community had major concerns with crowds, congestion, and COVID risks during an already busy period,’ Cr Williams told The Echo.

The majority of the Lennox Chamber of Commerce businesses voted in favour of the WSL event.

‘I’m not against Lennox Hosting surf competitions and am a big supporter of the annual Skullcandy Gromfest which is a feature event on our calendar,’ said Cr Johnson.

‘But when you have representatives from the Lennox Surfing Reserve, Landcare, the residents association, board riders groups, and council staff expressing reservations then you have to listen to those concerns and weigh them up with the economic benefit argument.’

Council rejection of WSL

Cr Williams said that he spoke with the Lennox Chamber of Commerce prior to the Ballina Council meeting where he voted to reject the WSL being held at Lennox.

‘It is clear that the views expressed by the Chamber in support of the event at that time were broadly supported by local businesses,’ he said.

‘As a local cafe owner and operator I was acutely aware of the potential positive impacts of the WSL event for business. I have subsequently spoken with local business operators to explain my support for the decision of Council to reject the event. Put simply, the event was rushed, poorly planned, and could have become an absolute balls-up if large unregulated crowds had showed up.’

Brazilian, Italo Ferreira, took out the World Surfing League’s first leg of the world championship competition in 2019. Unsually held at Snapper Rocks the comp was moved around the corner to NSW’s most northerly break at Duranbah. Photo Jeff ‘Retired Gold Coast Pro’ Dawson

COVID risks

This was reiterated by Cr Johnson who highlighted how fortunate the region is to not have had a case here in ‘over six months’.

‘We can’t let our guard down now, particularly with the reporting of new strains of the virus that are even more contagious. We have seen what is happening as we speak in Melbourne due to them hosting an international sporting event,’ he told The Echo.

‘The key issues for me in moving the motion to reject the proposal were that: 1) due process wasn’t being followed. Councillors were being asked to approval a major event with no actual application during the busy Easter holiday period. 2) The downside risks due to COVID were high. Any short-term economic boost could have quite easily been reversed if any of the competitors or support staff unknowingly had COVID-19.

‘In this case, I couldn’t support the proposal with the information we had. I also remember the community concerns and opposition when Rip Curl Search wanted to hold an event in Lennox about 10 years ago.’

Cr Williams said that he was strongly in support of events ‘as a way of increasing business during quiet periods. But sadly that was not the case in this instance.

‘I think the Deputy Premiers description of Lennox as a bunch of NIMBY’s is seen as a badge of pride by many locals. I’m proud to represent a community that will stand up, mobilise and demand that politicians listen.’

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. 100 percent of residents were not polled!

    What is the point of this article after the horse had bolted?

    Locals are the ones left to pick up the garbage. Might be an idea to consult the residents, most of whom have little financial interest and will give unbiased answers. WSL is now run by ex Wall St big wigs and Zuckerberg via his rights to broadcast events on FB. Push push, and don’t ask questions now or later, just PU$H it through.

    Most locals aren’t against progress, we just want proper consultation.

  2. It would also be revealing to see, of the businesses who voted to HAVE the event in Lennox Head, how many actually lived in Lennox – Not Byron, not Mullum, not Ballina – whose actual home address was a street address in Lennox.

  3. Of course businesses are in favor, be a bit of a shock if they weren’t. Hmmm wonder why ? As stated above I bet many owners do not live in Lennox, Businesses get the upside in terms of increased income, locals get to suffer the down side of, disruption, increased traffic, garbage etc, etc.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Richmond Valley Council Citizen awards

The contribution made to the Richmond Valley community by its citizens was recognised on 26 January through a range of awards and most particularly through the award of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year. 

How depression makes people vulnerable to misinformation

A US study has found that people suffering from depression are much more likely to believe misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Countbacks or by-elections for Ballina?

Cr Rod Bruem's first appearance in the Ballina Council chamber saw an attack on ALP candidates who narrowly failed to win seats in the recent local government election, with the councillor claiming it would be undemocratic for a countback to include 'rejected' Labor Party candidates if another councillor was unable to serve during the next 18 months.

Community building and disaster resilience

If you’ve ever wanted to be a volunteer, the Community Carers and Responders might be where you can lend a hand.