‘Snippet of white man’s history’ set to be demolished
The Lennox Head pavilion will be demolished, after a motion to save it was rejected by Ballina Shire councillors.
A motion was submitted by Cr Eoin Johnston to amend the Lennox Village Vision Concept Plan.
The plan proposed the demolition of the structure, called the 'brick picnic shelter' by the council, and it was approved in 2020.
Although originally believed to have been built in 1945, Cr Johnston said at the council meeting on Thursday he believed the pavilion was not finished until the early 1950s.
Cr Johnston asked fellow councillors to keep and approve structural improvements for the weather shelter.
"I understand the argument of modernising and embracing clean lines of adjoining building in Lennox (... but) I don't know why we can't hang on to, without being too blunt, a snippet of white man's history in that village," he said.
"Our indigenous folk have an abundance of historical and cultural sites across this shire.
"I readily concede that a 1950s brick shed has no comparison to the significance of some of the indigenous sites that we have in our area, thousands of years of indigenous connection, we can't match that, but we did have white settlement in this country, and I think it's a tragedy that we seem to want to rush to demolish any connections with the past."
Despite his plea, and a deputation by Lennox resident Lyn Hargreave supporting the motion, most councillors rejected the idea.
Cr Jeff Johnson said he could not agree with the motion.
"I'm not sure this motion reflects the vision of Lennox Head we are working towards," he said.
"I don't think modernising and making our public spaces more functional and more user friendly is a negative thing, I don't think we should retain old buildings and structures just because they are old."
Cr Sharon Cadwallader said she understood the connection residents have with the shelter, but could not support the motion.
"While things invoke memories, they shouldn't trump the future," she said.
In a deputation on behalf of the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce, treasurer Brad Pollard said most businesses were happy about the removal of the structure.
"The chamber conducted a survey last year, prior to the Lennox Vision Plan being passed unanimously by council," he said.
"Of all the questions asked, the shelter shed was the question most businesses were most in agreement on, with 83 per cent indicating that they would like the shelter shed removed and the design of the Lennox Park adopted."
The pavilion's removal is still an unfunded component of the Lennox plan, and has no specific date for its completion.