Marina at heart of foreshore draft plan
By MARY MANN firstname.lastname@example.org IN THE past, Ballina turned its back on the Richmond River. But Don Conson says that is now changing, with a new draft master plan for the foreshore providing positive direction for development of the area, including a marina.
The council launched its plans for a marina in March last year, and in December signed a memorandum of understanding with the NSW Department of Lands to pave the way for the preparation of a master plan.
Mr Conson, a founding member of the Ballina Shire Economic Development Unit, said it reflects the needs of the Ballina community and mariners travelling along the east coast.
"For too long, the river has been under utilised," he said. The master plan, which Ballina Shire Council has placed on public display, examines five parcels of land: Faulks Reserve, the trawler harbour, Captain Cook Park, Regatta Avenue harbour and Southern Cross Drive.
The plan include walkways, pontoons, public toilets, cafes, landscaping, public seating by the river and aboriginal artworks.
The marina is proposed for the trawler harbour site and would include the relocation of the RTA depot.
Council's general manager Paul Hickey said once public submissions had been received and a master plan approved by the council and the Department of Lands, it was likely expressions of interest would be called for the development of the marina and other major infrastructure.
Mr Conson, who owned and operated the Richmond River Princess cruiser at Ballina for 12 years, believes it is time for the rebirth of the Port of Ballina. Focusing on the river will give the town a distinct economic advantage.