Letters to the editor
RIP North Wall
I NEED to report that while out walking over Easter, I, and dozens of other walkers, came across the badly mutilated and deceased carcase of our beloved Ballina North Wall.
It appears she died of severe uglification and intense shame - believed to have occurred during an unsuccessful and botched remedial operation by a mindless NSW government department.
Judging by the comments made by fellow walkers, I would imagine that large numbers of Ballina residents will want to join together in a class action malpractice case against the department, to claim compensation and/or restoration of the deceased North Wall.
It is also hoped that a lengthy Coroner's inquiry will be launched, although Ballina council has not yet announced a date for a public memorial service for our once beautiful and iconic Lady.
Thoughtful residents may also question if the picture which has appeared on the Ballina council website in recent weeks, indicating moderate remedial work along the sides of the wall, was posted in ignorance, or if it was a deliberate attempt to hide the true nature of this remedial operation from the public.
Because those monstrous hanbars are piled so high at the end of the wall it is now no longer possible to even view the ocean - let alone any passing whales - without a dangerous climb to the top of the hanbars.
RIP Ballina North Wall.
Appalling work on wall
I WAS happy to hear the news that the North Wall walkway in Ballina was finally opened.
I ventured out to the wall last Friday only to be confronted with oversized cement blocks which seemed to have been dropped randomly along the rock wall.
I was absolutely appalled at this attempt to "save" North Wall's structure by the NSW Public Works Department.
This so-called "new idea" has spoiled one of Ballina's major attractions.
The blocks down the sides are just bearable, but the ones about 4m high at the end of the wall (where the best view is) has me baffled!
When I reached the eastern end of the wall, there were about 15 other people there and I could hear them talking and pointing in amazement at the ugly-looking blocks.
Tourists and locals alike will be disappointed at not being able to look out to sea, especially when the whale migration is on.
Why did the blocks have to be placed so high at the extreme end of the wall?
Another blunder by a government department?
These "geniuses" probably sit behind a desk in a 10-storey office block, never see the light of day and are asked to design a solution to protect North Wall.
Surely one of them must have been human enough to realise that the beauty of North Wall was a priority and to keep the wall close to its natural state.
Did the Ballina Council have a say in the design of this "project"?
I am at a loss.
My faith with authorities is slowly dwindling.
Black Head ocean pool
WOULDN'T Black Head make a perfect site for a 50m ocean pool, similar to the ones that are prominent features at many of Sydney's iconic beaches.
It's adjacent to the ocean, with plenty of room for parking to ensure the surfing community and public could retain access to the coast.
You only have to look at how many families take advantage of the tiny ocean pool located at Shelly Beach to realise it's a resource that would be utilised by the community.
With so few ocean pools being built these days, it would be a huge boost for Ballina's tourism industry.
I would imagine that the reason so few ocean pools have been built over the past few decades is because of the environmental degradation caused by cutting into a coastal headland or the impact that the concreting of rocky shores/rock pools would have on the marine food web.
Unfortunately for Ballina, this damage was caused in the 1960s.
Could an ocean pool be the silver lining in Ballina's coastal black spot?
TO THE thieving mongrel that came onto our property and stole my bike that I bought as a grandmother care-giver to my grandson with special needs so I could go bike riding with him, you are a low-life.
Anyone who has seen my bike, a blue Malvern Star that had a flat tyre which needed to be replaced, contact the police.
IN RELATION to the financial situation of the Ballina and Lismore racing clubs, it is interesting to read that Racing NSW will be talking to police and the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing.
It would appear that they may have already identified one of the problems facing these clubs, and that is the ridiculous use of security.
Attending major race meetings on these tracks would be similar to attending a war zone.
The huge number of large security people dressed in black is certainly an overkill and enough to turn people away from attending the races.
I have attended race meetings at all major tracks and have never seen such security as exists at Lismore and Ballina when the crowds in other venues have been much, much larger.
This unwanted security must put a lot of financial strain on the local clubs.
Let's hope in future the Licensing Police will be more realistic
Get a ... bigger car
DENNIS Shapter (Advocate 27/3) has a real problem with parking in Ballina shopping centres because of his small car.
The parking committee has come up with a couple of suggestions that may help.
1. Get a bigger vehicle, or
2. Get your wife to do the parking for you.
Hope we have been helpful.
CBD Parking Committee
I FULLY support Greg Kershaw's letter (Advocate, 20/3).. I agree with him totally.
I am disappointed and will be inconvenienced by the NRMA's short-sighted plan to close the NRMA office in Alstonville..
The NRMA will no doubt claim it as a modern business decision.
They also will most likely claim the alternative as being suitable.
A matter of opinion, I feel.
I have been a loyal member/customer of the NRMA for over 45 years and I feel that the closure of these branches is an act of disregard, even disloyalty, to NRMA customers, particularly those who find the alternatives are not suitable.
Now, I acknowledge that me being inconvenienced, irritated and offended by the said plan may not worry NRMA or anyone else, but I feel compelled to express my discontent.
NRMA has also felt a "blast" from my pen.
I feel for the discarded staffed and I too thank them for their help, assistance and friendly service.
I OFTEN admire the work of our local Dunecare and Landcare groups at our local beaches, particularly that done by volunteers.
Lately they have had a large pile of mulch on The Coast Road at Angels Beach.
Early one morning a women was seen shovelling it straight into the boot of her car.
Perhaps she was practicing her shovel skills to be a volunteer.
Wollongbar on the move
WOLLONGBAR is on the move!
Our population is set to increase by some 4000 people over the coming years.
If current land sales and home constructions are any indication, this population rise is well under way, with families of every age group making Wollongbar their new home.
Families moving into our area may not be aware of local facilities and activities.
The Wollongbar Progress Association (WPA) maintains and manages the local hall, and works with council to ensure best outcomes for local people.
A number of inappropriate development plans have been amended or stopped through WPA action.
The hall is a light, airy space, with all modern facilities; it is a great space for any number of activities, and is hired out at "community" rates. Call Esme 6628 0455.
The back yard is home to a wonderful Community Garden, with oregano, dill, rosemary, basil, bacon, corn, rocket, lemongrass and lettuce, all ready for harvesting.
Call in any time to harvest gently, and pull a few weeds.
A regular working bee is held in the garden from 9am on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
Games mornings at the hall are also on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from 10am; play Scrabble, Quiddler, card games or bring your own game.
WPA meetings are held every second month: our annual general meeting is on Wednesday, April 10, at 7.30pm.
I encourage "locals" to come along with suggestions and ideas for ensuring Wollongbar remains a friendly, interesting and enjoyable place to live.
Join us, and be part of your local community - be amazed at the lovely people you'll meet!
Op Shop bouquets and brickbats
PLEASE allow us some space to thank our many generous friends in Ballina who donate items for our Op Shop.
We are grateful for the fine clothes, shoes, crockery and cutlery, toys, jewellery, lounge suites, office chairs, refrigerators, electrical goods and other items that find a ready sale.
Saleable donations like these are a real help to those in our community who cannot afford some of these items new; and at the same time the profits help in maintaining our women's refuge in Ballina in a satisfactory financial position.
Sad to say, some of our "friends" bring along (often after hours) bulky analogue TVs, printers without ink, rusty fans, incomplete food mixers, speakers without amplifiers, and other non-descript hardware that has to be taken to the tip to make room for saleable merchandise.
The council has been kind enough to allow us some credit at the tip, but after less than eight months of the financial year that is used and we pay for the rest of the year.
With "friends" like these, who needs enemies?