Council calls on Government to make way for Ballina marina
IN an effort to "start the ball rolling" on plans for a marina in Ballina, the council will ask Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay to find a new site for the RMS depot, which is currently located near the trawler harbour.
That area has been identified as the ideal site for a future marina.
But first the RMS depot needs to be closed and moved to another location.
Cr Sharon Cadwallader put forward a motion at last week's council meeting to invite Mr Gay to Ballina to discuss the possibility of moving the depot.
She said it would pave the way for a marina.
"Other coastal communities, to the north and to the south, are getting the march on us by building facilities for the boating industry," Cr Cadwallader said.
"A marina for Ballina is not going to happen overnight.
"We need to start the process and start the conversations now, and the best person to have those conversations with is Duncan Gay."
Cr Cadwallader said a marina would be a huge boost for Ballina's economy.
But she said it would need to be viable and could possibly include retail outlets and accommodation or residences.
"It's a beautiful location that could really be embellished," she said.
"We need to start imagining what we might be able to do.
"Having a marina would be one way we could start to utilise our river, which is really under-utilised at the moment.
"The opportunities are endless."
The Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also previously supported plans for a marina.
However it is a project that would have to be taken on by a private developer.