Ballina Greens candidate says she can get town sports centre
BALLINA residents say they've been lobbying state governments for an indoor sports centre for almost two decades.
Now, a Ballina Greens candidate has promised to help deliver the project if elected at upcoming State election in March.
Tamara Smith said it is appalling Ballina, home to more than 40,000 residents, has no indoor centre when other towns across the state with smaller populations, such as Byron Bay, do have a facility.
"There is a desperate need for a dedicated indoor sports facility in Ballina that meets the needs of our growing population," she said.
"At present, there is no indoor sports facility in Ballina and sporting groups are forced to use a single indoor court at Southern Cross High School that is inadequate to meet their needs and growing membership.
"For nearly 20 years, members of the Ballina Basketball Association and other local sporting groups have been lobbying for the construction of a new indoor sports facility.
"We know that this project is a strategic priority for Ballina Council, it's about time that the State Government to took a leadership role to help make this project happen."
Smith said all state candidates should commit to the project, which she expects will cost roughly $15 million.Eva Ramsey, junior president of the Ballina Basketball Association, said residents have been lobbying for 17 years.
"The advantage to our children, our families and our community would be enormous - from health to the financial benefit, our community would all prosper greatly," she said.
Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson also called for the State Government to step in and assist the council to make the centre a reality.
Smith said the centre is expected to include four courts, a fitness gym and facilities for a wide variety of sports and school carnivals if it is built.