Ballina mayor wants to raise bar
BALLINA mayor Phillip Silver will today call for a taskforce to be set up to deal with issues preventing the dredging of the Richmond River bar, North Creek and the trawler harbour.
Cr Silver said the "environmental and funding issues" needed to be solved, and quickly.
At today's council meeting, he will put forward a mayoral minute recommending council approve the formation of a taskforce, of one or two representatives from the Ballina Fishermen's Cooperative, the Ballina Chamber of Commerce and the mayor or alternate.
There is a "pressing need" for dredging, Cr Silver says.
He also said the silting up of the bar, trawler harbour and North Creek was an "immediate problem".
Cr Silver said environmental issues needed to be resolved in order to satisfy legislation, and that funding was also a problem.
He said neither issue should be underestimated.
"The issues of the current situation are well known: lack of access and danger of Ballina bar; fishing and pleasure boats have difficulty crossing.
"It is not uncommon for Tweed and Clarence fishermen to be fishing off Ballina whilst the Ballina fleet cannot get to sea."
Cr Silver said a "small group of key parties" should pursue the issue of dredging the bar, North Creek and the trawler harbour with relevant government agencies and ministers.