SALTWATER MENACE: A motorist coats their Ford Falcon and nearby cars with rust-causing saltwater during Monday’s king tide at Tamar Street.
SALTWATER MENACE: A motorist coats their Ford Falcon and nearby cars with rust-causing saltwater during Monday’s king tide at Tamar Street.

Ballina Shire Council rubs salt in the wound

BALLINA Shire Council will not move to fix drains in Tamar Street, Ballina, despite salt-water flooding thatmay have damaged dozens of cars during Monday’s king tide.

Business operators in Tamar Street yesterday said the brief flood had little impact on Monday’s trade.

However, motorists driving through the seawater spilling from the drains were splashing it all over their own vehicles, other cars parked nearby and the occasional pedestrian.

Ballina Shire Council engineering works manager Paul Busmanis said the tidal inundation was expected because Ballina island, which includes the Ballina CBD and Tamar Street, was low-lying.

“The king tides occur twice a year affecting Tamar Street and Burns Point Ferry Road the most,” he said.

“There are up to 50 storm water outlets from the island into the Richmond River which are submerged in saltwater.

“The inundation occurs only twice a year and the water recedes quickly.”

Mr Busmanis said all council funding towards stormwater infrastructure was used to repair and replace old pipes.

Eventually that program would get to the drains in Tamar Street, Burns Point Ferry Road, and other streets hit by the biannual king tides.

However, the council had no plans to put other stormwater projects on hold so it could do Tamar Street early.

Grant Street Clinic doctors’ surgery manager Lesley Macey said the biggest king tide she had seen in the street happened in 2006, when seawater from the drain was so deep it lapped at the bottom step.


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