Council to investigate Dalwood Falls future amid safety fears

BALLINA Shire Council will spend the next 12-18 months investigating the best options for the future management of Dalwood Falls at Alstonville.

Rangers regularly visit the popular swimming spot to remove litter and rope swings.

Concerns about the ownership and management responsibilities of Dalwood Falls have been raised by members of the C Ward committee, and the issues were discussed at another committee meeting last week.

It has been suggested the site should be sold, possibly to the owners of neighbouring properties.

In report to the C Ward committee last week, council staff said the issues raised in a risk assessment undertaken by the council's insurer in 2005 were still valid.

The report highlights that "catastrophic" consequences - such as people being killed at the falls - were possible if the council kept the site.

"Council has implemented some of the control measures in this report to try and mitigate personal injury and access, however substantial resources would need to be applied to achieve all of the recommended control measures," staff said.

"From a risk perspective, an ideal solution would be to dispose of the land.

"However, should council wish to retain the falls, then council needs to carefully consider and fund the control measures outlined in the (risk assessment) report.

"In addition, due to our experience with this site, ongoing resources will need to be provided as vandalism, in order to gain continued access to the site, remains an issue."

General manager Paul Hickey said the council, in its operation plan for 2013/14 and 2014/15, had resolved to determine the preferred long-term strategy to minimise risk for Killen, Dalwood and Tosha Falls.

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