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Byron Shire
July 16, 2024

MP and Cr call for inclusion of social housing in Ballina

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Mal Lanyon, Janelle Saffin, and Tamara Smith at the announcement of the funding in Ballina. Photo supplied

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

However, both local MP Tamara Smith and Ballina Shire Councillor Kiri Dicker have said they are concerned over the potential lack of social and affordable housing being included in the mix.

The money will go towards the planning and design of medium-density housing on Council-owned land at Hutley Drive, Lennox Head and assist in unlocking housing capacity in the Ballina CBD, including shop-top living, and to advocate for investment in centrally located housing. 

‘The Resilient Lands Program is about giving options to families to gain access to affordable land where they want to live,’ said Acting CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Mal Lanyon.

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said Flood-affected communities across the Northern Rivers region have been waiting for safer land and housing options to be identified. I’m pleased to see another LGA added to the councils receiving support under the Resilient Lands Program.  

The Community Leaders Forum (seven mayors and six State and Federal MPs) early on adopted the principle of equity in recovery for the entire region affected by the 2022 floods.

Social housing needed

Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said: ‘It is my hope that any council land that comes under the Resilient Lands Program has a significant portion dedicated to either social or affordable housing.’

‘We need genuine affordable housing for residents in our community, not expensive housing stock that is of more interest to property investors.’

Cr Dicker, agreed telling The Echo that she had concerns that Ballina Council would sell the land to private investors rather than include key worker and social and affordable housing in the same way they have with the Wollongbar residential housing project that is currently on exhibition.

‘It is in our housing strategy and the Lennox Head Strategic Plan that we explore opportunities to support affordable housing for key workers,’ she said.

‘It’s public land owned by the people so it should only ever be affordable housing in my opinion. I’ll be fighting tooth and nail for that in the next term of Council’.

The NSW Reconstruction Authority was contacted regarding the mix of public, social, and affordable housing but were unable to respond by deadline.


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4 COMMENTS

    • To answer your query, one needs to go through the details on the NSW Register of Disclosures in relation to state MP’s and the Register of Members Interests in relation to federal MP’s, that all MP’s are meant to update.
      It is public information that you can drill through for yourself.

  1. Ballina gets $210,000 out of a 100 million dollar program . .? Not sure I’d raise the flag over that. 1/470th of the pie. Yeah, design works by . . . consultants.

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