Ballina businesses are the latest victims of the fish kill that has forced the closure of the Richmond River to all fishing.
Ballina businesses are the latest victims of the fish kill that has forced the closure of the Richmond River to all fishing.

Ballina business being killed off

By MARY MANN mary.mann@northernstar.com.au YOU can’t fish in the Richmond River, but the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry isn’t going to just sit on its hands and watch local businesses suffer.

It will meet the NSW Department of Primary Industries tomorrow to look at how it can help local businesses through this tough time, and help better protect the river in the future.

Chamber manager Nadia Eliott-Burgess said board members would brainstorm measures which could support business operators throughout the river closure.

“They will also look at how the chamber can work effectively with other stakeholders and industry bodies to protect this major asset in the longer-term,” she said.

“The Richmond River is a significant asset to Ballina and the Northern Rivers region from a commercial, social and historical perspective. It must be protected.”

Local business people like Bruce Legge, owner of Dave’s Bait Shop in Ballina, have been directly affected by the river closure.

Mr Legge has already had to lay off three staff since the fish kill. He was planning to sell the business, but took it off the market after estimating his loss of turnover for January and February would reach $100,000.

“It’s not just me, it’s every business in town,” Mr Legge said.

Local businesses are being urged to let the chamber know how they have been affected by the river closure before tomorrow’s meeting.

Call Nadia Eliott-Burgess at the Ballina Chamber of Commerce on 6681 5049.



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