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.
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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