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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

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Cumbalum Interchange, showing the missing on and off ramps from the motorway. Google Maps.

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Cr Meehan said it was ‘only a matter of time’ until there would be a bad accident at the interchange, with numerous people heading north doing illegal U turns through vegetation in the median strip in order to exit at the interchange.

People who can’t enter the motorway heading south are forced to drive through built-up areas of Ballina, adding to growing congestion and travel times.

Councillors and staff said there had always been a plan to complete the interchange when the motorway was finished, but nothing had ever been done, despite numerous requests. ‘We know the community wants it,’ said Cr Meehan. ‘The time is right to talk with levels of government about this matter.’

Give pollies a chance to help, says mayor

Mayor David Wright suggested that Ballina Council write to local member Tamara Smith and MLC Ben Franklin asking them to invite the Minister for Transport and Roads NSW Andrew Constance to see the Ballina situation in person.

Mayor David Wright in Ballina recently. Photo David Lowe.

He noted the success of this strategy when money was needed from the previous minister at Alstonville. ‘You get much more bang for buck if they come here,’ said Mayor Wright.

John Truman, Group Manager Civil Services at Ballina Council, agreed that it was all about lobbying, and an invitation was worth a try.

Crs Ben Smith and Keith Williams agreed. Cr Smith said after being fobbed off last time, ‘the time has come – hopefully we can get something done sooner rather than later.’

Cr Sharon Cadwallader supported this, saying ‘it’s not a case of what the community want out there, it’s what they need.

‘Now that the dual carriageway is finished, it’s time to look at things that could have been and should have been done better. If the decision makers don’t come up here, we’ll go to them,’ she said.

The motion was carried unanimously.

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  1. What does this say?
    “Councillors and staff said there had always been a plan to complete the interchange when the motorway was finished, but nothing had ever been done, despite numerous requests.”
    It means the government built an incomplete interchange because they did not have the money to build a complete interchange, and when requests are ignored it means they still don’t have the money.
    There is also this quote:
    “People who can’t enter the motorway heading south are forced to drive through built-up areas of Ballina, adding to growing congestion and travel times.”
    People heading south are from the rich Gold Coast and of Qld so they are supposed to stop in the built-up areas of Ballina and buy something and add money to Ballina business. To build a bypass reroutes business elsewhere.

    • They are talking about locals who want to head south! Your statement makes no sense whatsoever.
      People from Ballina head south too you know. Rich people coming from the Gold Coast can already take the off ramp into Ballina if they desire and if they are going further south they won’t.

  2. What a shock to discover that the Mayor actually knows the name of the State Member for Ballina. If this essential upgrade of this interchange goes ahead, who will get the nod to turn the first sod? Christian Porter? Matt Canavan? Craig Kelly?

  3. People are “supposed” to stop in Ballina? No they’re not. There’s no law that says they have to. People can stop wherever they like. It’s a free country.


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