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Byron Shire
September 22, 2023

Little Athletics with big plans: 2024 Ballina Shire Council community grants breakdown

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Community carols, termite treatment, hall hire and a new rugby grandstand are some of the projects to receive funding through the Ballina Shire Council’s latest community groups grants scheme.

Councillors at July’s ordinary meeting voted unanimously in support of grant allocations recommendations from a ‘working party of councillors’ that had met earlier that month.

The process was the result of a vote at the council’s June meeting.

The group that met on the tenth of July featured eight of the ten councillors, including Mayor Sharon Cadwallader.

Independent Councillor Jeff Johnson and Greens Councillor Kiri Dicker were the two councillors not to participate in the so-called ‘Donations Working Party’, which differs from an official committee.

The council’s Financial Assistance for Community Groups for 2023/24 scheme had been split into two pools: $82,000 for community groups and $32,000 for capital works projects for community sports groups.

The working party recommended distribution of around $66,000 among community groups that applied to the scheme and $20,000 for eligible capital works.

Council staff noted submissions were lengthy and hadn’t been included in the agenda report, which featured a summarised table instead.

Ballina Seagulls Football Club large grant bid rejected

The old Ballina Seagulls sign. Photo David Lowe.

The largest two grant allocations of $10,000 each went to the Ballina Rugby Club Inc and the Ballina Little Athletics sports groups for capital works, matching funds requested.

The Ballina Seagulls Football Club Inc requested $140.000 to build an upgraded canteen, BBQ and drinks building but its bid, the largest one in the scheme, was rejected.

The Ballina Croquet Inc was also rejected in its appeal for $9,250 for assessment costs relating to proposed capital works, such as preparing a DA and planning proposal fees.

Agenda notes showed the two applications were deemed ineligible as they did not meet policy requirements.

The rugby club was approved for funds to build a steel-framed covered grandstand with disabled access and viewing facilities.

The little athletics group is to receive funds for upgrading their Chickiba Park clubhouse and kitchen facilities.

Marine Rescue misses out on computers

Marine Rescue NSW vessel. Photo supplied.

Groups to be approved for significantly less funds than requested included the Combined Sports Lennox Head Carols Committee, the Ballina Lighthouse RSL Day Club, the Rous Mill and District Memorial Hall and Marine Rescue Ballina.

The carols committee requested $10,000 to host Christmas Carols in the park at Williams Reserve but was approved for half the amount.

The Ballina Lighthouse RSL Day Club was also approved for around half its requested $8,955 to hire the Richmond Room, at $4,500.

Roughly $5,000 was approved towards a requested $8,423 for termite eradication bills as well as insurance and maintenance at the Rous Mill and District Memorial Hall.

Marine Rescue Ballina requested $8,000 to buy, install and configure five computers but was only approved for $2,200 in funding.

Boomerang Bags Committee denied $578 funding request while carols can go ahead

Only two groups were recommended not to have any requested funds, with reasons not published in the agenda.

The Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond and Rotary District 9640 requested $5,000 for next year’s Rotary District Conference in May at the Ballina RSL Club but funds weren’t recommended.

The working party also recommended against a Lennox Head Residents Association – Boomerang Bags Committee request of $578 for venue hire at the Lennox Head Cultural Centre.

Meanwhile, the Ballina and District Ministers Association Incorporated requested and received $5,000 for the Ballina Riverside Carols.

The Alstonville RSL Tibouchina Day Club requested $5,000 to help with club expenses such as community transport and hire of the Rous Mill Hall, and was approved for $4,500.

Jetboat? What jetboat? Councillors seek info on volunteer rescue group ‘asset transfer’

Ballina Surf Rescue Jetboat in action. Photo supplied.

The council made special suggestions in some cases instead of requested funds.

Volunteer Marine Rescue NSW, for instance, requested $9,000 for maintenance and insurance costs but notes showed the ‘Donations Working Party’ sought further information on ‘transfer of the Jetboat asset’.

The jetboat was reportedly supposed to have been transferred from Ballina Surf Lifesaving Club to Marine Rescue NSW but councillors at the meeting confirmed the transfer hadn’t yet happened.

‘When the asset is transferred to the Volunteer Marine Rescue, Council can consider a donation at that time,’ agenda notes read.

Council to donate shipping container

Art on Rappville container by Austin Nitsua

The Lennox Head Residents Association – Coast Care Committee requested $6,800 to replace their equipment storage container and cover insurance costs but was denied under the scheme.

Agenda notes showed the Donations Working Party agreed to provide support for insurance costs under a separate scheme called the Donations – Support for Environmental Volunteer Groups Policy.

Councillors also agreed for the Open Spaces section to re-purpose one of their shipping containers, due to become redundant in several months’ time, and give it to the Coast Care Committee.

New Riding for the Disabled saddle funded

Other groups requested and received amounts less than a thousand dollars, including the Lennox Head Residents’ Inc Heritage Committee, Riding for the Disabled (NSW) Ballina & District, Lennox Community Gardens Inc, Community Sewing Group and the Lennox Head Residents Association.

Funding was for a range of purposes including $836 for a new saddle, and money for signs, CWA hall hire and office supplies.

Cr Eoin Johnston moved in support of the recommended grant allocations with Cr Eva Ramsey seconding and councillors voting unanimously in favour.

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  1. Interesting that Ballina council is using local government flood relief money to put a dog walking track and dog agility equipment in the cricket grounds at Gap Rd. The grant is for flood affected communities. How does the Gap Rd dog park qualify for flood recovery money?
    Also a worry is the possibility that the walking track will replace the off leash area enjoyed every day by dozens of energetic dogs and their owners. This whole process has already begun and there has been no community consultation whatsoever.


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