Council Decides: Lake Road To Close

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On Saturday 1st September at Ballina Shire Council’s Extraordinary Meeting, Councillors voted six to four in favour of the closure of the eastern road at Lake Ainsworth.

The Chambers also accommodated a large crowd attending to watch the proceedings on a feed to a TV screen in the foyer. Most of these people were there to support keeping the road open under the banner ‘Preserving Lake Ainsworth’.

And after the final decision, Pip Carter who represented this group, would still not concede the issue was resolved just yet.

‘At this stage, right now we are in limbo, we will follow up any options we have left, or open to us. If indeed there are any. My concerns are for the democratic process not being put in place and Council are still just not listening to the majority,’ he said.

Mr Carter was referring to the 4000 signatures he obtained on a petition against the closure, and the obvious support at the meeting.

However, those in favour of the road closure such as Lennox Head Resident’s Association President Monica Wilcox, believe there is clear support for the closure. She also suggested that on Saturday the supporters of closing the road stayed away to avoid conflict. 

Mayor David Wright (citing the new Ballina and Alstonville Pools as an example) said that Council decisions in the short term might upset some people but given time and judged in the long term, are later seen as a gain for the community and ultimately for the best.

The sentiment now coming from the closure supporters also echoes the Mayor’s. After the decision, Shaun Eastment from Lennox Head Landcare said, ‘Enough. It’s time to move on. Hopefully this puts the matter to rest, and hopefully in 5 years we would have all moved on.’

Following Council’s decision, the Lake precinct may soon see changes implemented with works having been delayed over the last couple of years. Work could now start as early as October, but with the approach of peak holiday period and bush fire season, we are unlikely to see the full closure of the eastern road and the new overall plans fully operational until the first quarter 2019.

2 Responses

  1. Lavender

    Lake Ainsworth – the jewell in the Ballina Shire crown!
    Thank you to councillors and staff who have put time and effort into this issue over the past years. There are many people who truly value this natural feature as an open space for recreation and as a unique example of our coastal environment (dunal, perched lake) rather than a place to merely park cars. They are the less vocal majority.
    Mr Carter’s spurious claim re majority opposing Council’s plans is mere hype and with his ill-informed remarks about democracy show that he and his supporters are more concerned about pushing their short-sighted claims than working towards community understanding of the real issues.
    Pedestrian safety, access for aged and disabled people, and promoting appropriate vegetation (vital for the Lake’s health) are the real issues.
    I look forward to those opposing the Council’s plans taking a less adversarial approach and coming forward with broader views and respect for the Lennox community and Council’s plans to prevent further harms to our precious environment.
    It’s time!

    Reply
  2. John Bortolin

    For anyone who wants to run to be a Councillor or for Mayor and is a good at listening to the local people now is a good time to start preparing. It would be an easy win.

    Reply

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