In 2003, Ballina Council endorsed the Ballina Shire Urban Water Management Strategy in order to ensure a reliable and sustainable use of water within the Shire. Part of that strategy was the supply of recycled water to selectd open space reserves and new subdivision areas. A key action in this strategy was to introduce dual-reticulation for all major new subdivisions within the Shire, including the new developments along North Creek Road.
As part of Council’s ‘Urban Water Management Strategy’, it was proposed that a 3.4 megalitre ‘recycled’ water reservoir was to be constructed at Kings Court Reserve. As a result of local opposition to the proposal, a group of residents formed the Kings Court Reserve Protection Group (KCRPG). KCRPG and the wider community have been engaged in a consultation process with Council since 2009.
As a result of that consultation process, the proposed 3.4 mega-litre reservoir was reduced to a much smaller 107KL ‘tank’, which would be operated under a hybrid gravity/pressure system. Further to this, it was agreed that certain embellishment works would also be undertaken as a form of compensation for the loss of amenity due to the recycled water infrastructure (holding tank).
A range of embellishment options that were considered include educational signage, BBQ’s, tables, a pathway landscaping, and controversially, a water park.
Neil Kennedy, president of the KCRPG gave a deputation to the Councillors in support of the proposed works, with the exception of the water park. Mr Kennedy told the meeting ‘ KCRPG members and other surrounding residents are overwhelmingly opposed to the ‘water park’ component for a number of reasons including increased noise pollution and traffic congestion. It was suggested that the money saved from removing the water park component could be reallocated to fund the next stage of the shared path that is currently being constructed along the eastern side of North Creek Road.
After considerable discussion, Councillors resolved to remove the water park from the proposed works and to place the proposal on public exhibition for further comment. The total cost of the project is $310,000.
The amended proposal will now be placed on public exhibition with a final report being presented to the Council in a few months time.