13.2 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

World Surf League coming to Lennox?

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Other News

Why have NSW Labor failed to hold their promised drug summit?

On budget eve the banner ‘Premier, you promised. Drug Summit Now’ was dropped across from NSW Parliament calling on NSW Labor to set a date for the long awaited NSW Drug Summit.

270 ready to contest Seas The Day women’s surfing at Kingscliff

The world’s largest female participation surf event Seas The Day is returning for its second year at Kingscliff Beach...

Byron Council candidates jostle for position

It was the type of motion that comes up at Byron Council quite regularly – a broad, uncontroversial political statement that is unlikely to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. 

Have your say on Byron Bay’s foreshore 

Byron Council staff have proposed options and a ten-year vision for the much-used space, including the removal, or partial removal, of the carpark overlooking Main Beach. 

Arnold’s tourism role recognised

If tourism is the lifeblood of the Byron Shire, then Cameron Arnold is one of its key haematologists.

Hormones may be the key to treating anorexia

It has one of the highest death rates of any mental illness, and leads to severe physical and mental health complications. But anorexia nervosa has been poorly understood, under-recognised, under-researched, and underfunded for decades.

Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright at Lennox Head. Photo supplied.

After the surprise announcement by Ballina’s Mayor David Wright yesterday that Lennox Point was being considered as the location for a World Surf League event in April, there has been a mixed response from the public.

Fellow Ballina councillors appear to have been sideswiped by the news, with only the mayor and council staff being invited to speak to WSL representatives after the conclusion of the last Ballina Council meeting.

Issues with the World Surf League event at Lennox include lack of infrastructure, parking, and the proposed timing of the event, which is planned to take place in an already busy period, during Easter school holidays.

David Wright’s fellow councillors not in the loop

Ballina’s Deputy Mayor Sharon Cadwallader told Echonetdaily, ‘This has not come to councillors for a decision or even comment.

‘All councillors could have been a part of the meeting but were not invited. So I am not privy to any information which would enable me make an informed comment,’ she said.

Ballina Cr Jeff Johnson told Echonetdaily he had concerns about the impact the World Surf League event would have on Lennox, particularly given the timing during school holidays, ‘when the town will already be packed.’

Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo David Lowe.

He said, ‘Many people, both locals and visitors will no doubt want to surf the point as a key leisure activity during this time.

‘The proposed surf comp would effectively shut the point down for ten days and prohibit both visitors and locals from surfing it.’

Cr Johnson remembers the reaction to Rip Curl’s proposed event at the point ten years ago.

‘There were huge concerns about the point being closed off, the impact on the headland with hundreds, (potentially thousands) heading up there to watch, the issues this would have for parking and traffic flows, as well as rubbish from the impact of so many people, the need for temporary toilets, crowd management, etc,’ he said.

Cr Johnson said, ‘If the event wasn’t during the school holidays and was held over a shorter period of time then it would be more workable. But from what I’ve heard I think the impact would be too great.

‘I understand that it will bring an economic boost to the town, but I predict Lennox will be booked out anyway with families, many whom will be expecting free access to the beaches including the point,’ he said.

‘You can’t just close down one of the town’s main attractions during one of the busiest times of the year.’

More questions

Rous County Council Chair Keith Williams. Photo David Lowe.

Cr Keith Williams told Echonetdaily the World Surf League proposal is a major event that needs careful consideration.

‘I understand the Lennox event is a one off replacement of Bells Beach due to the potential disruption caused by state borders at the moment,’ he said.

‘Assisting the world’s premier surf competition in this way is not unreasonable. It could also be fun. However, residents have already raised major concerns that need to be addressed.

‘Will competitors and officials be travelling in a bio-secure bubble? What efforts will be made to ensure there is zero spread of COVID as a result?

‘How will crowd numbers be limited? What will that limit be?’ asked Cr Williams.

And the questions don’t stop there.

Surfers at Lennox Head. Photo David Lowe.

‘How will the impacts on Lennox Headland be managed?’ he asks. ‘Considerable time and effort has been spent restoring native vegetation.

‘How will it be protected?

‘How will traffic and parking be managed? Will there be a base located elsewhere and buses?

‘What will be the long term benefit to the surfing reserve? What legacy will WSL leave behind to remember that time Lennox hosted Bells?

‘Not all of these questions can be answered today. But we must insist on a clear and agreed process to ensure the safety of our community and environment is paramount before any commitment is given,’ concluded Cr Williams.

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. The Ballina mayor has previous form for doing this
    Alstonville Community Centre being turned over to a commercial Tennant….this was rumoured via social media on a Sunday..announced publicly on the Monday..then brought up and passed at a council meeting on the Thursday without any formal notification.
    Drill down into the detail and you may probably find that this WSL proposal has been on the agenda “considered” for weeks…unannounced until the last moment.

  2. How about we invite 44 travellers from around the world to our shores during a pandemic? Lets do that just as we’ve got it under control. As we can see with the Perth and Brisbane hotel quarantine examples, nothing is set in stone. Get ready to get our beaches locked down like the WSL did in Hawaii.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Iron Gates L&EC appeal hearing comes to an end:  decision reserved – Part I

The long-standing, controversial Iron Gates case came to an end in the Land & Environment Court (L&EC) last Friday after a two-week Hearing commencing at Evans Head on 3 June and finishing in the Court in Sydney on 14 June. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

Lismore’s Freedom of Entry Parade

Lismore is set to host a Freedom of Entry Parade by the 41st Battalion, a time-honoured tradition dating back to medieval times

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).