5 things Lennox Head said a big fat ‘no’ to over the years
This week Ballina Shire Council made the controversial decision to reject a plan to bring a multimillion dollar World Surf League event to Lennox Head.
But it’s not the first time Lennox Head has gained attention for saying a big fat no to massive projects or events.
We take a look back at what the coastal village has missed out on in recent years:
World Surf League
Whether you were for it or against it, the World Surf League will not be going ahead in Lennox Head at Easter.
Ballina Shire Council this week held an extraordinary meeting where it voted against plans to host the multimillion event.
The decision has had mixed reactions, with many community members saying it would have been wrong to host the event so quickly.
But NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it was the wrong decision, and the region has now lost out on millions of dollars that could have injected the economy after a difficult year due to COVID-19.
Warriors training camp
When the 2020 NRL season went into a tailspin during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NZ Warriors looked to Lennox Head to set up a training camp.
The plan was to set up a 14-day quarantine camp, where the Warriors would have had full access to the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre during their stay at Lennox Head.
But those plans didn’t last long, when the team backflipped on its decision and instead moved to Tamworth ahead of the season relaunch in May.
Local residents had also raised concerns about having the players and their support teams in the area, as the spread of the coronavirus was still unknown at that time.
One way traffic
There was huge community backlash to a proposal to introduce one-way traffic along in Lennox Head in 2019.
Ballina Shire Council spent 19 minutes to overturn its original decision to implement the traffic change in Ballina St, Lennox Head.
A number of business owners had call for the plan to be scrapped after a trial, with some reporting they saw takings drop by almost 30 per cent.
Ahead of the extraordinary council meeting, staff conducted an online survey on the one-way traffic trial, which had received almost 800 responses.
Of those, 65 per cent prefer two-way traffic, while 35 per cent preferred one-way. The remainder were “uncertain” or had no preference.
Aerial Ski jump
Ballina Shire Council in 2017 unanimously voted against a proposal to build an aerial ski jump at Lake Ainsworth.
The controversial site was selected by NSW Sport and Recreation due to its temperate climate, as it allows for a year-round training venue.
But after enormous community backlash, the plan was taken off the table mid discussions.
“At the right location, the facility would provide a much-needed boost for local jobs and businesses, while supporting Australia’s elite athletes. But it’s clear this project is not a fit for this local community,” Northern NSW Nationals Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin said at the time.
Rip Curl Pro
This isn’t the first time Lennox Head had the chance to host a major surfing event.
Back in 2008 the Rip Curl Pro had hoped to host their competition at the popular break but the plan was put on the backburner after organiser postponed.
The community had been protesting the event at the time, and in September 2008 The Northern Star reported organisers had pulled the pin on their once-off event scheduled for 2009.
Ballina Shire records show a formal application had never been lodged with the council for the event.