Lennox Head businesses crave big surf event, just not now
Lennox Head needs a signature event that would promote the town and give an economic boost to its businesses, according to the local Chamber of Commerce.
Eighty five per cent of Lennox Head businesses would support an international surf event like the one recently proposed by the World Surf League (WSL), but under different circumstances.
A recent survey by the Lennox Chamber of Commerce among local firms offered insights into the business community's opinion on the issue.
Ballina Shire Council rejected a proposal from WSL to host an international surfing event in Lennox Head during the Easter long weekend this year.
Community pressure and the lack of consultation were cited as some of the reason for the rejection, after councillor Jeff Johnson raised a motion during an extraordinary council meeting.
The survey's results indicated that most Lennox Head businesses would support a future event like the rejected WSL contest, as soon as it was held post-pandemic and not during school holidays.
Sixty five per cent of the businesses surveyed said they would directly benefit from an event held in Lennox Head.
Brad Pollard, Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce treasurer, said the town needs an event to attract visitors.
"From an economic prospective, we are in the shadows of Byron and Ballina, but a lot of hardworking local business owners have invested a lot of time, energy and money into securing leases downtown, and there has always been an expectation and a perceived return from that, that they would like to see realised," he said,
"It's not them wanting to pocket big profits.
"This sort of event would have allowed town to employ more of our kids, upgrade equipment and do a fit-out that is well overdue, that's what it represented to businesses, a step forward rather than another step sideways."
Mr Pollard said the WSL event would have been the largest event in Lennox Head for the year.
"Love Lennox is a big event but it generally caters for locals or people from the shire," he said.
"We get a lot of overflow from Byron over Bluesfest, we've got some smaller event, but an ever like the WSL would really promote Lennox on its own."