21.6 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

WSL plan wiped out by Ballina Council

Latest News

‘Endless land releases’ not the solution for Byron’s housing crisis, says Country Labor mayor hopeful

Northern Rivers-based trade unionist and MBA student Asren Pugh has announced his candidature for Byron Shire Mayor in September’s local government elections on behalf of Country Labor. 

Other News

Byron Bay wins season opener against Mullum Giants

  Ross Kendall The local league derby is always  and the Byron Bay Red Devils have won the first game of...

Honouring midwives on their International day

Many of us have a midwife to thank for our safe arrival from the womb, these specialised 'catching' hands are a blessing to both mum and bub in hospitals and in the home.

Lismore Council set to increase fees, cut costs in a bid to balance budget

Lismore City Council is set to increase fees and charges and cut spending in an attempt to overcome a $19.5m operating deficit.

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered...

Lennox Point, one of the best surf breaks in the world on a good day.

An extraordinary meeting of Ballina Shire Council was held yesterday afternoon to discuss the controversial proposal to hold the World Surf League competition at Lennox Head this Easter.

Speaking before the vote, Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said, ‘I don’t think it’s fair that the Deputy Premier is strong-arming Ballina Council to make a very quick decision about a significant event with international competitors during a pandemic.

‘The community has not had time to contribute their thoughts,’ said Ms Smith.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith. Photo David Lowe.

‘I would certainly want to see the details of a COVID-safe plan to hold that event given the highly contagious strain of COVID-19 that many international visitors are exposed to.

‘My concern will always be the pressure on our regional health system if there was an outbreak,’ she said.

Council vote

With numbers of concerned residents gathering outside the Ballina Council chamber, the vote went solidly against the WSL proposal, with only Crs Steve McCarthy and Mayor David Wright in favour, and seven councillors voting against the idea. Cr Nathan Willis was an apology.

Cr Jeff Johnson proposed an alternative motion to reject the proposal. This was supported by majority, for reasons including the ‘unacceptable’ COVID risk to the community, the loss of amenity and over-crowding during an already busy holiday period, and the fact that Lennox Point has been established as ‘a surfing sanctuary and is not to be used by a private commercial operator to the exclusion of all other users.’

Cr Jeff Johnson in Ballina recently. Photo David Lowe.

Cr Johnson said the proposed event lacked proper process and community consultation, and that any short term economic gain from the proposed event would not outweigh the negatives.

‘I’m not against holding surfing contests at Lennox,’ he said.

‘The Gromfest works really well and is a much loved event in Lennox. But the scale and time of the year, i.e. during the Easter School Holidays are significant.’

Discussions behind closed doors

Cr Johnson said yesterday he was concerned that private discussions had been held behind closed doors about the WSL proposal that most councillors were not privy to.

‘The fact that the Deputy Premier is booked to come up and announce the event tomorrow is very concerning. How can that be the case given council has only just been provided details now during the presentation and hasn’t debated it?’ he asked.

‘We are going to be increasingly asked to hold large events in our area and we need to be mindful of residents, our amenity and not just support events due to the proposed economic benefits,’ said Cr Johnson.

Cr Keith Williams told Echonetdaily, ‘I’m very happy to see the majority of Councillors were willing to listen to the community and reject the proposal. The impact on locals at an already very busy time would be unacceptable.

NSW Nationals leader and Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Photo supplied.

‘As far as I’m aware the state can’t overrule this,’ he said.

‘It still requires a licence from council for an event on public land. Staff will refuse the application,’ said Cr Williams.

What now?

A statement from World Surf League said they ‘would not go where they weren’t wanted.’

With the event now canned, at this stage it’s unknown if Deputy Premier John Barilaro is still planning to make an appearance on the Northern Rivers today.

If recent visits from other senior coalition figures to the area are anything to go by (Gladys Berejiklian, Scott Morrison), then the media, political opponents or members of the public who might ask awkward questions will be the last to know.


More stories about Ballina Shire Council:

Ballina Shire for the next 4 years: time to have your...

The Ballina Shire Council’s Draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2021/22 - 2024/25 will be on exhibition until the 28th of May with provisions for public feedback. 

0

Ballina Council – April wrapup

Ballina Shire councillors managed to cover a lot of territory at their last meeting, which finished before a very late lunch.

1

Celebrate Compost Awareness Week at Ballina Community Garden

This year, International Compost Awareness Week runs from 2–8 May with the theme ‘Better Soil, Better Life, Better Future’.

0

Ballina council debates South Ballina Beach 4WD access, again

An attempt to enlarge the list of approved 4WD beach users allowed to access South Ballina Beach failed to get the numbers to progress at the last Ballina Shire Council meeting.

1

Wollongbar wildlife hospital clears another hurdle

Ballina Shire Council has voted to prepare a planning proposal to modify the LEP for the site at Lindendale Road Wollongbar which is proposed for the new Northern Rivers Wildlife Hospital.

0


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.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Who comes up with the 10 million dollar figure that the event would boost the local economy?

    Oh the people behind the event, of course!

    It’s well past time that these redundant pretend profits aren’t accepted as truth .

    If you believe your event will bring 10 million dollars to town.

    Prove it!
    A press release isn’t proof and people aren’t stupid!!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Global predicament

Dudley Leggett – Director of Sustainability Research Institute, Suffolk Park Phillip Frazer’s article, (Echo 6 January) is an excellent summary of our global predicament, and a...

How full is that glass?

Cr Alan Hunter, Byron Shire Council Council Staff recommend opposing the proposed changes in the Exempt Development provisions to be considered in this week’s Council Ordinary meeting. The...

Creative carbon capture

Desmond Bellamy – Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia, Byron Bay Last week, the Australian government pledged half a billion dollars for ‘clean’ energy projects, including 264 million...

Assange’s father to beg Biden for son’s freedom

John Shipton, father of detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says he’ll return to the United States to ask President Joe Biden to drop legal action against his son.