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Byron Shire
September 26, 2021

Ballina council hopes of the ‘most significant community parkland’ in the region

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The Ballna Shire Council says it’s received $3.6 million in state funding for upgrades to sporting facilities in Kingsford Smith Park.

A media release from the council last week said the money would be spent on lighting, rugby league amenities, netball facilities, playing surfaces, and carparking.

It was part of an election promise more than two years ago from state upper house member Ben Franklin [Nationals], who is based on the Northern Rivers, and the NSW Office of Sport, the council said.

Ballina’s $25 million dream: adventure playgrounds, market lawns, lakeside picnicking

Kingsford Smith Park, Commemoration Park, and Missingham Park are all part of Ballina’s publicy-owned Kingsford Smith Reserve.

The council said it was working on a $25 million plan for the future of the land and had released a draft copy for public feedback.

The draft plan was available online and showed the council’s vision for the reserve to become ‘the region’s most significant community parkland’.

But the project was so far without long-term funding, and the council said it needed $15 million to realise its vision for Kingsford Smith Park, $7 million for Missingham Park and $3 million for Commemoration Park.

The costs were indicative only, with further detail to come in the final master plan.

Ideas in the plan included plenty of playgrounds ranging from a toddler’s playground to an adventure playground; public art and nature-inspired sculptures; a markets lawn and other ‘breakout’ lawns; exercise facilities; BBQ areas; and lakeside picnic areas.

Ballina Shire Council Strategic Planning Manager Tara McGready said The Draft Master Plan was developed in consultation with the community.

‘We have engaged with stakeholders from sporting, environmental and recreation groups, as well as adjoining residents and the wider community,’ Ms McGready said via the council’s media release.

‘This feedback has helped us to develop a vision for the entire Kingsford Smith Reserve precinct and identify the top priorities for each individual park area,’ she said.

‘Now we need to hear again from our community to find out if we’ve got it right.’

An indicative illustration of a market lawn from the Draft Concept Design for Commemoration Park. PIC SUPPLIED

Have your say on Ballina’s parkland vision

Ms McGready said the final master plan for the Kingsford Smith Reserve would help the council secure more funding and resources for the project.

So far, only the first part of the project – the sporting facility upgrades in Kingsford Smith Park – had received funding.

Anyone wishing to view the draft plan and/or offer feedback had until 14 September.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. for the love of god, no more wasteful gentrification.

    can’t these committee members who waste their days dreaming up these schemes find something better to do with their time?

    Maybe try and solve the housing crisis?

  2. Throw a couple hundred grand at the skate park, at least ffs. Great park, could use a nice 2-3ft bowl for the little rippers

  3. I concur with the earlier comment that – Yes , It might be best if Ben Franklin actually did solve the housing crisis on the northern Rivers ,
    rather than ponce around .
    Thats the challenge Ben .
    Are you big enough ???

  4. Great ideas…. However prioritising would be advantageous currently. Providing affirdable housing and not givibg real estates so much control to push people out of the area unless you can affird the over priced housing. Fir younger generations whose families have lived here for generations its appalling to watch your kids be pushed out and tild they should go to Gbah or Casino. Hard workibg members of our community cant find housing so what does that mean for those on lower income. It shocking what has been allowed to happen through a minoritys viewpoint.
    I know you are trying. Just prioritise please!!

    • I agree, housing is important but it is a state responsibility . Recreation is a council responsibility and it’s good to see Ballina is working on improving our parklands.

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