13.8 C
Byron Shire
June 20, 2024

Drinking water in Ballina’s open spaces to be prioritised

Latest News

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Other News

Arnold’s tourism role recognised

If tourism is the lifeblood of the Byron Shire, then Cameron Arnold is one of its key haematologists.

Flood-prone land subdivision DA on exhibition

A proposal by developer Callum Sked to subdivide flood-prone land near the Mullumbimby Showground is now on public exhibition on Council’s website until June 25.

Critical incident investigation declared following motorcycle crash – Lismore

A critical investigation has been declared after a teenager was injured in a single-vehicle crash in Lismore.

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.

Byron Writers Festival 2024 Program

A vibrant program packed with high-profile literary luminaries, and new voices to discover, has been released by the Byron Writers Festival. The event will be held August 9 till 11.

Murwillumbah Hospital celebrates 120 years

A community campaign for a hospital in Murwillumbah led, in 1899, to two committees and a Board of Trustees being formed, and the selection of a 15-acre site. The hospital itself opened in May 1904.

Rocky Creek Dam, the main supply of drinking water in the Ballina Shire. Photo supplied.

Ballina Shire Council staff are to make sure all open spaces and parks in the shire have access to drinking water, starting with an audit of current availability.

Councillors agreed to the plan at September’s ordinary meeting via a motion from Independent Cr Jeff Johnson.

Cr Johnson’s motion had three parts, thanks to he and Cr Rodney Bruem agreeing to combine separate but similar motions they had featured on the agenda.

Cr Johnson had called for the audit and for drinking water to be a priority in terms of funding investigations ‘as part of the preparation of the 2024/25 Delivery Program and Operational Plan’.

Cr Bruem had called for a report on options for a plan to fulfil the goal of available drinking water at all Ballina Council open spaces.

The conservatively-aligned councillor agreed to second a longer version of the typically more progressive Cr Johnson’s motion, with his motion added to the list.

Climate change driven thirst cited

Cr Jeff Johnson in Ballina. Photo David Lowe.

Cr Johnson’s original motion said neither Fripp Oval nor the Ballina Heights Sports Fields had access to drinking water via a tap or bubbler when the change rooms and amenities building was closed.

This was ‘basically at all other times apart from when organised sport is being played,’ Cr Johnson said.

‘As a father of young children who often use our sports fields and parks with both my kids and their friends it has become obvious that the provision of drinking water at these Council facilities and parks is needed.,’ he said.

Cr Johnson said there were outdoor taps at both sports fields ‘but the head of those taps have been removed, presumably due to them being left on or not having the “auto turn off” function’.

He said a bubbler and tap similar to what was provided at the Skennars Sports fields was urgently needed.

Cr Rod Bruem. Photo David Lowe.

Meanwhile, Cr Bruem said medical advice increasingly pointed to the need for humans to stay hydrated, ‘consuming around two litres of water daily’.

Cr Bruem said climate change forecasters were predicting hotter and more humid weather in future years, presenting more of a challenge to stay hydrated and to be able to access clean available drinking water.

‘It makes sense to drink tap water rather than buy single use plastic bottles,’ Cr Bruem’s notes concluded, ‘it is estimated Australians buy more than 15 billion plastic bottles annually and many end up as landfill or polluting roadsides and water ways’.

Local coach supports call for more bubblers

The call for public drinking water was supported during public access at the meeting.

Dylan Edwards said he was a long-term resident homeowner in Cumberland with two beautiful boys aged ten and eight.

Mr Edwards said he and his family had been heavily involved in Tintenbar East Ballina Football Club for a number of years, with his oldest son recently receiving his five year trophy.

‘I’ve been coaching and assistant coaching for all that time,’ Mr Edwards said, ‘and one constant that I’ve really noticed down at those fields is when the clubhouse isn’t open, there is no access to drinking water at all’.

‘There’s one tap that sits underneath the canteen window that doesn’t even have a handle on it,’ Mr Edwards said.

The concerned coach said responsible parents were making sure children had full, full water bottles but there was nowhere to refill them.


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.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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. 

Supporting women’s mental health in Ballina

Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and one in five women compared to one in eight men suffer from mental ill health or disorder.

Lismore’s Freedom of Entry Parade

Lismore is set to host a Freedom of Entry Parade by the 41st Battalion, a time-honoured tradition dating back to medieval times

Inequity underpins solar-battery rebates

Over 3.2 million Australian households now have solar systems, and NSW leads, with a million systems (rooftop, heated pool or hot water).