A section of the Ballina Shire's shared coastal pathway, near Pat Morton Lookout at Lennox Head.
A section of the Ballina Shire's shared coastal pathway, near Pat Morton Lookout at Lennox Head. Rebecca Lollback

New funding opens way for coastal pathway along Coast Road

A KEY section of the long-awaited coastal shared pathway on the western side of The Coast Road could be delivered by the end of the year.

Ballina Shire Council this week announced it would receive $840,000 in funding from Roads and Maritime Services for the section from Headlands Dr at Skennars Head to Tara Downs at Lennox Head.

"Council has been advised that these funds are available as some Sydney metropolitan councils have not been able to progress their allocated funding," general manager Paul Hickey said.

"With the council having planning approvals in place for the western side pathway we are in an ideal position to expend these funds in the current financial year."

However the RMS funding will only be made available if the council withdraws applications for funding for two sections of the coastal recreational path, which will be built on the eastern side of The Coast Road.

This includes the section from Beachfront Parade at East Ballina to the Flat Rock Tent Park, estimated to cost a total of $800,000, and the section from Flat Rock through to Sharpes Beach, a total of $600,000.

Mr Hickey said the RMS had offered to fund 100% of the western side because they want the council to fund the eastern pathway.

"The RMS do not see this section as a cycleway, as compared to sections of the western pathway that are adjacent to the road network," he said. The $1.4 million cost of the eastern pathway from Angels Beach to Sharpes Beach will be paid for by the council through a variety of funding sources.

This was endorsed by councillors at a finance committee meeting this month, with a decision to be confirmed at the March council meeting next week. Mr Hickey said the coastal shared pathway project had been in the planning stages for many years.

"It is good news for the council to receive this RMS funding, because it means we can get started on additional western side works straight away," he said.

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