Ballina looks like getting its marina at last
By MARY MANN
A MASTER plan for a marina at Ballina has been given the go-ahead by the shire council, a move Iain McCabe says will lift the town’s profile as a coastal destination.
When constructed, the marina is expected to bring more tourists to the area, allowing Ballina to cash-in on its prime riverside position.
The marina, proposed for the trawler harbour site, is one of a number of pieces of infrastructure included in the Ballina Foreshore Master Plan, adopted by the council last week.
The master plan provides direction for development of the area and is now awaiting approval by the NSW Department of Lands.
Locals such as Mr McCabe, managing director and principal operator of Baysail, say the sooner Ballina gets a marina, the better.
Baysail trains people in sea/ship navigation and, like other boat operators, has to fill up tins of fuel at the local servo whenever it needs to refuel.
“It will be a huge benefit to Ballina,” Mr McCabe said.
“At the moment a lot of yachts just pass through because there is nowhere secure with services for them to stop. They want to see Ballina and reprovision, and with the new marina they’ll be able to do that.
“The river has for a long time been understated. This is an important part of Ballina’s future.”
Back in 2002 the council sold the marina at the end of Burns Point Ferry Road, which was subsequently closed to make way for what is now the multi-million dollar Anchorage Point residential development.
Last March the council launched plans for a new marina, and in December signed a memorandum of understanding with the NSW Department of Lands to pave the way for the master plan.
It examines five parcels of land: Faulks Reserve, the trawler harbour, Captain Cook Park, Regatta Avenue harbour and Southern Cross Drive – and includes walkways, pontoons, public toilets, cafes, landscaping, public seating by the river, and Aboriginal artworks.
Bryan Marriott, secretary of the Ballina Chamber of Commerce, said the marina would provide much-needed infrastructure as well as employment opportunities.
“The plan has the capacity to identify Ballina as a port ... providing opportunities to make full use of the unique lower Richmond River,” he said.