ON PARADE: The Ballina-based TS Lismore navy cadet unit at a recruitment day, along with the Ballina sub-section of the Naval Association of Australia in 2019.
ON PARADE: The Ballina-based TS Lismore navy cadet unit at a recruitment day, along with the Ballina sub-section of the Naval Association of Australia in 2019.

Future uncertain for Navy cadets after council decision

BALLINA Shire Council has passed a unanimous motion that could see the lease with the TS Lismore Naval Reserve Cadets base finished and the SES moving into that location.

The council agreed to not renew the lease and to explore further use for the council-owned land.

The motion voted and passed at today's regular meeting estated that "council advise the Australian Navy Cadets of its intention that upon the expiry of the existing lease, the lease will move to month to month to allow Council to receive a report on the use of the land for the benefit of the entire community such as the SES".

The building at 26 Endeavour Close, Ballina, has been the Australian Navy Cadets - TS Lismore site, leased from the council, since 1988.

The council has also subsidised the rates on the land, by approximately $9200 in the financial year 2020/21.

When the lease was last considered by the council in September 2017, the rental waiver per annum was $45,000 and the potential sale price of the industrial lot was $926,000.

A three-year lease was granted, which expires on September 27.

A council report explained that, "in today's real terms, the next 20 years will see a community contribution to the Australian Navy cadets of around $1,000,000 in waived rental".

Cr Sharon Cadwallader raised a motion to defer a decision while asking the Australian Navy Cadets to be advised and respond to the possible end of the lease.

"Council, we are better than this, let's not lose sight of our values," she said.

Mayor David Wright moved against that idea, reminding council that the Navy Cadets "are accessing a very valuable piece of land".

Cr Nathan Willis raised the amendment to advise the Navy Cadets of the end of the lease, while requesting the SES for a report on how the organisation would be able to use the land.

Mayor Wright made it clear that he expected the council to explore the possibility of the SES to be able to use the space, or for the Navy Cadets to stay there, while trying to maximise any possible financial gain for the community from that land.

Council will request a briefing from the local SES in regards to the issue.

The lease of the Navy Cadets will continue after September on a month-to-months basis, as any regular lease after the contract has expired, until a different arrangement is decided.


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