Ballina Council pressing for raised pathway on North Wall
THE State Government has ruled out building a viewing platform at the end of Ballina's North Wall, but Ballina Shire Council is now pursuing the option of raising the level of the path so people can again see the ocean view.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Paul Toole has written to council saying "a rigid structure assembled on the wall, such as a viewing platform, may be damaged as a result of any movement or scour of the underlying foundation".
He said the only option that would provide greater visibility for the public would be to raise the crest surface with additional fill.
He was responding to Mayor David Wright's April letter to the Deputy Premier, asking if any improvements to the wall were planned after this year's upgrade that upset locals.
In the upgrade, large concrete blocks called hanbars, described by many as "ugly", were placed at the end of the wall and blocked the ocean view.
NSW Trade and Investment, Crown Lands, has previously said the upgrade was necessary for the wall's functionality.
Mr Toole advised council that "up to 20 metres has been lost from the end of the wall during adverse weather events".
After the mayor wrote his letter, Cr Sue Meehan pushed for council to write another to ask the State Government to build a viewing platform on the wall.
But Mr Toole wrote that "there is no precedent to constructing a viewing platform at the end of any other breakwater along the NSW coastline.
"Any proposal to enhance public viewing would need to take into consideration the safety and potential risks to the public from wave overtopping at this locality, as well as possible damage to the structure," he wrote.
Council is now pursuing the option of raising the path at the end of the wall and has asked for clarification on "design, public liability and funding issues" mentioned.