The existing boat harbour at Ballina. Doug Eaton
The existing boat harbour at Ballina. Doug Eaton

Spit site missing the boat

BALLINA Shire councillors will consider a masterplan for a $56 million marina at its ordinary meeting this month, after it was discussed at this week's Port Ballina Taskforce meeting.

The masterplan - which is slated for the Kingsford Smith Park precinct - includes a resort hotel, 173 waterfront residential allotments, 250 apartments, 75 condos, and more than 300 commercial and private marina berths.

While stakeholders have welcomed movement on plans for a marina for the town, not all feedback has been good.

The Northern Star asked its readers on Facebook to comment on the controversial proposal and many said while they supported a marina for Ballina, it was the wrong location.

Gabrielle Murphy said the masterplan would ruin the "most beautiful of river beaches" - the Spit.

"There are dolphins, turtles, fish and other wildlife foraging there ... not to mention that's a beach where dogs can run free," she wrote

"I see a huge amount of reclamation of beach and waterway in order to achieve what they are saying ... they would completely obliterate the amphitheatre and picnic areas and facilities.

"Please don't turn Ballina into the Gold Coast!"

Deseray Meisel agreed that turning the area into a marina would ruin existing facilities.

"The area is a high traffic area for locals on a daily basis. A marina would lock the community out, not improve it," she wrote.

Others said it was "probably the worst position" and "completely inappropriate".

Jesse Vandenbosch said: "The scale and scope of works is way too large."

But Melissa Jayne Reid said the marina would be "magnificent for Ballina", highlighting the creation of 315 permanent jobs and the tourism benefits.

"Progress like this can only be a positive as far as I'm concerned," she wrote.

Other comments included "bring it on", "we really need a marina NOW", and "brilliant idea".


Online poll

Should Ballina have a marina?*

Yes - 47%

No - 23%

Yes, but it should be smaller than the one proposed - 23%

Yes, but the one proposed is not big enough - 5%

* Responses to online survey attached to marina story on the Northern Star website.

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