Mayor uses casting vote to sink Ballina marina plan
AN AMBITIOUS plan to create a $56 million marina in the Kingsford Smith Park precinct has been knocked on the head by Ballina Council.
The vote on whether to support further development of the proposed masterplan was locked at 5-5, so mayor David Wright was forced to use his casting vote to reject it.
He cited the negativity it had generated in the community and the fact that such an ambitious plan had been sprung on the council less than three weeks ago.
"This is something the designers have come up with by themselves; it was never commissioned by council," he said.
The proposal included a resort hotel, 173 waterfront residential allotments, 250 apartments, more than 300 commercial and private marina berths, plus areas designated for an aged care facility, sporting fields and a floating market.
Cr Wright said the Port Ballina Taskforce would still pursue a marina and dredging, but "not at the site of the present proposal and not such a huge concept".
He said two alternate sites at Regatta Ave and Fisheries Creek would be investigated, with $80,000 allocated for feasibility studies.
"If those sites fail, we may come back to the site near Kingsford Smith, but not to that scale," he said.
The issue was debated for over an hour with several motions put up for consideration before the final vote.
The masterplan was developed by Peter Marshall and John Kelly from the Queensland based David Wilson Landscape Architects.
They had previously claimed the development would create 315 permanent jobs and bring in $2 million a year to council coffers through rates.