16.5 C
Byron Shire
June 23, 2024

Is Ross Lane open?

Latest News

Drones not detonation

The extraordinary popularity of the Vivid light shows in Sydney has exploded this year, but quietly, thanks to the...

Other News

Yogaing out

Sadly, two of Byron’s best yoga studios close this month. Bamboo Yoga has been providing a beautiful space and...

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. 

Teething problem

I think it’s really stupid and potentially dangerous that the concept of an absorption period of charging a lead...

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...

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. 

Do you have an IF?

When 12-year-old Bea moves into her grandmother Margaret’s apartment in New York, while her father waits for heart surgery in the same hospital where her mother died of cancer years earlier, she chafes against his playful antics, insisting she can handle the situation with maturity.

Ross Lane near Lennox Head, not quite underwater for a change. Photo David Lowe.

The perennial Lennox Head question moved a step closer to being permanently answered, after Ballina Council resolved to search for engineering solutions and funding to raise the low-lying section of Ross Lane which regularly floods.

As the only direct access route from Lennox Head to the west, Ross Lane has come under more pressure as development expands in and around the village. When the road floods, the only way in or out in that direction is via a long detour to the south, or an even longer detour to the north.

Bumper sticker. Photo supplied.

Brad Pollard from the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce told the last Ballina Council meeting that fixing Ross Lane’s flooding was a priority for parents, food suppliers, holiday-makers and emergency workers.

He said the question ‘Is Ross Lane open?’ had become a running joke as Lennox expanded in all directions.

Joke wearing thin?

‘There may have been a time when Lennox just wanted to be left alone,’ said Mr Pollard. ‘Well, those times have gone and that sentiment has changed. We now want to function as a town, not a village,’ he said, and that ‘required a reliable road network’.

Mr Pollard said the search for a solution needed much greater urgency.

Cr Jeff Johnson, who put up the motion with the support of Cr Eva Ramsey, told The Echo, ‘Council currently has over $4 million in grant funding for works on Ross Lane including widening the road. It’s important that the engineering designs for raising the road in the floodway section are completed and the work incorporated into the proposed upgrade.

‘Ross Lane is a major regional road that links Lennox Head and the Coast Road with the Pacific Motorway and our hinterland villages,’ he said.

Ross Lane underwater. Photo supplied.

‘When Ross Lane floods it causes major disruptions for our community to travel to and from work, and also prevents emergency service vehicles which could have serious health and safety implications.

‘The only other way is to go through Ballina, which is already struggling to cope with the traffic, particularly during peak hour periods.’

Whose responsibility?

Ross Lane is one of two regional roads which may be about to pass to the control of state government, which has a focus on safety rather than flood immunity (the other is Tintenbar Road to Rifle Range Road).

However there were stories mentioned in the debate about drivers new to the area hitting flood waters at speed, before barriers had been erected.

The troublesome section of Ross Lane, with nearby cane fields flooded. Photo David Lowe.

Councillors spoke about the need to get the flooding situation sorted while Ross Lane was still under council control, rather than leaving it to the vagaries of government.

In a separate motion, they voted unanimously not to let this handover be finalised until the Ross Lane flooding issue had been resolved.

Regarding Jeff Johnson’s motion, they voted to receive a report from staff on options to prevent Ross Lane from flooding, while also investigating funding options for the completion of the work, including grant funding opportunities. Cr Phil Meehan was absent for the vote.

Cr Jeff Johnson. Photo David Lowe.

Cr Jeff Johnson told The Echo, ‘It was pleasing to get unanimous support and I look forward to seeing this initiative progressed. I was a bit concerned with the proposal for these regional roads to be “handed back” to the state government that the much needed works would be delayed indefinitely.

‘Hopefully council can complete the upgrade with existing and additional grant funds,’ he said.

More stories about Ballina Shire Council:

MP and Cr call for inclusion of social housing in Ballina

Ballina Shire Council will receive $210,000 through the NSW government’s $100 million Resilient Lands Program to help support the delivery of a range of housing options across the Ballina Shire.


No ‘key worker’ or ‘affordable housing’ for Ballina Council’s Wollongbar development

On the second last piece of Ballina Shire Council-owned residential land they have decided to develop the land with no affordable or public housing components. 


Mullet fishers destroy dunes and native plants at Gawandii Beach, Shaws...

Locals and Tuckombil Landcare have expressed concerns over damage to the dunes at Gawandii Beach at Shaws Bay by fisher people who are accessing the beach for the mullet harvesting season. 


Ballina Council blacklists wrong tree

The Macaranga tanarius is a tree that is commonly seen as a pioneer species in disturbed rainforest areas. In Australia it naturally occurs from the Richmond River, New South Wales to Cooktown in tropical Queensland. So it is with serious...


Ballina Council to look into making tiny homes accessible 

The idea of living in a tiny home can seem like a simple solution to our housing crisis – but getting council approvals for a permanent tiny home on private land can be challenging. 


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.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Cars and other items stolen from Brunswick Heads

Local police are warning residents in the Byron Shire to be diligent in maintaining their home security after personal items and vehicles were stolen from Brunswick Heads yesterday.

Yes, peace is the solution

Both Duncan Shipley-Smith and John Scrivener yet again display the same responses that I talk about over, and over and over again. They do...

Teething problem

I think it’s really stupid and potentially dangerous that the concept of an absorption period of charging a lead acid battery has been transferred...

Rising Tide activists head to Justine Elliot’s office with kayaks

Today saw just over 40 people kayak from John Follent Park in Tweed Heads to Faux Park in South Tweed, before walking close to a one km with their kayaks to the Labor Member for Richmond's Office to demand an end to new fossil fuel projects.