Mayor battles for wall
BALLINA Shire Council has yet to receive a reply from a letter sent last week to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, questioning whether the recent upgrade works at North Wall in Ballina were completed correctly.
Ballina's Mayor David Wright wrote that council had "verbally" been advised the works were completed incorrectly.
His letter was motivated by the public backlash about the upgrade works, particularly the loss of the ocean view and the ugliness of the concrete armour blocks called hanbars.
A spokesman for Crown Lands said the works had been completed correctly, and the hanbars had been placed high at the end of the wall to allow for future sea level rises and increased storm wave height.
"The breakwater's primary function is improving navigation," he said.
"At the head of the breakwater, a significant amount of armour was required to preserve structural integrity."
Meanwhile, when the wild weather hit Ballina on the Australia Day long weekend this year, Ballina's North Wall was a popular place for those wanting to see the big seas.
But walking on the wall in bad weather may one day not be allowed.
A spokesman for Crown Lands, the State Government agency responsible for the wall, said an assessment was being made about "controlling public access
to the most exposed sections of a breakwater during severe weather events" because of risks to safety.
He said there was no intention to deny public access to breakwalls at other times.