CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport.
CONTROVERSIAL: A digital image of the proposed Lake Ainsworth Olympic ski jump facility provided by the NSW Office of Sport. Contributed

Council ski jump vote 'small victory' for residents

UPDATE 6.15am: BALLINA Shire Council voted 8-0 yesterday not to support a development application for an aerial ski jump facility at Lake Ainsworth.

Cr David Wright and Cr Jeff Johnson were absent in the vote.

Ballina Mayor David Wright has also recused himself from the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) which will consider the matter following a perceived public conflict of interest.

"I didn't want to be in a position where I am being perceived as dishonest. I want to assure the community I am listening to their views," Mr Wright said.

The DA process will continue to be assessed by Ballina Shire council planning staff and public submissions are still open for the next three weeks.

A technical report will also be assessed by council staff but the final decision sits on the shoulders of the JRPP.

Councillor Phil Meehan said the council's next step would be to receive a briefing in a few weeks where they will either confirm or update their position stance.

Cr Meehan said what was needed by the council was to show their support to the Lennox Head and Ballina communities, who have come out in great numbers to oppose the project.

Lennox Head Against the Ski Jump (LHASJ) spokesperson, Michelle Shearer said yesterday's vote was a small victory for the group.

"We are in for the long game and we know that we have a war to win," Ms Shearer said.

This Saturday, May 27, will see a protest sporting 500-1000 people marching to Lake Ainsworth to show the government their disapproval of the suggested development.

 

UPDATE 3.30pm: IN A Ballina Shire Council meeting today councillors announced they were not supportive of the DA lodged for a proposed Olympic facility at Lake Ainsworth.

The DA process will continue to be assessed by Ballina Shire council planning staff, and in the next few weeks the public are still able to submit objections or support submissions.

A technical report development will also be assessed by council staff but the final decision sits on the shoulders of the joint regional planning panel, which is the final reviewing body.

Council's technical information about the submissions and how it fits into the environmental protection zone will go to the JRPP in a report from council staff.

Cr Phil Meehan said the council's next step would be to receive a briefing in a few weeks where they will either confirm or update their position stance and ask council staff to support the submission to the JRPP stating the clear objection to the proposed development.

Cr Meehan said the councillors clearly stated in a motion "what is currently required is for Ballina council to join with the Lennox Head and Ballina Shire community and to show up front that we aren't supportive of this proposal".

This Saturday, May 27 will see a protest sporting 500-1000 people marching to Lake Ainsworth to show the government their disapproval of the suggested development.

The protest will start at 2.30pm at Williams Reserve.

 

THURSDAY 1pm: A CONTROVERSIAL proposal for a ski jump at Lennox Head is set to be scrutinised at today's Ballina Shire Council meeting.

Councillor Phil Meehan said will put forward a motion to have the Olympic sports training facility, proposed to be erected at Lake Ainsworth, re-located.

"With the relevant State Minister being the only person who can reject the DA I believe that this issue will be decided by 'people power' and the political damage the Government will sense and have occur if it pushes forward," Cr Meehan said.

Mr Meehan said the "absurd" development proposal in the environmental protection zone could be a decisive factor in the Government coalition winning back the seat of Ballina at the next state election.

The facilities "visual dominance (on the coastal landscape's) scenic quality" and the "significant detrimental impact" will be leading points made by Mr Meehan in today's meeting among communicating that it isn't in the public interest.


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