OPEN ACCESS: Ballina?s extended river walk. The existing pathway is in yellow. When developments on the river are finished the
OPEN ACCESS: Ballina?s extended river walk. The existing pathway is in yellow. When developments on the river are finished the

Last link in riverside walk

By Patrizia Reimer

BRYAN MARRIOTT loves living La Dolce Vita and soon he will be able to indulge in long walks along the Richmond River in true cosmopolitan style.

The Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary is delighted Ballina Shire Council has given the Ballina RSL Club the go-ahead to build a public boardwalk along the riverside.

This, along with the completion of other private developments with public access to the foreshore, will link up a currently fragmented path from Kerr Street to the North Wall. Most of this land was previously not accessible to the public.

"It's marvellous, because we have a magnificent river and the development of Fawcett Park has shown all of us just what a great river it is," Mr Marriott said.

"Fawcett Park is a bit of a piazza in a sense. We have people walking around and we can sit and watch."

The Ballina RSL Club submitted a DA for the boardwalk late in 2006 after having its refurbishment work approved. The Crown Licence for the area required that if the club enlarged in any way public access would need to be incorporated.

After some debate over several months on whether the walkway should be fixed or detached the council voted on Thursday to accept the Club's proposal for a 3-metre detachment.

RSL Club general manager Bill Coulter said he was very happy with the decision.

"The important thing about all this is the club is investing in a community asset. It provides that foreshore access to the river that everybody wants," he said.

John Fitzgerald, director of the development company building the exclusive Watermark Apartments, 100 metres from Fawcett Park, said he was proud to be helping open up the foreshore.

"Overall it's going to be great for people to walk along there. Ten years ago, no one had any access to it and it has evolved into a lovely area. It's the heart of Ballina," he said.



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