Patrick Gorbunovs

Battle over and lights on in Alstonville

THE residents of Parkland Drive in Alstonville have been waiting 40 years for street lights to be installed in their corner of the street.

And on Friday, the result of tireless lobbying was brighter than ever with the driveway of long-term resident Joyce Coppock illuminated, along with the rest of the street.

The 77-year-old has lived in Parkland Drive for 26 years.

In that time, she has seen attempted break-ins in her unit block and witnessed vandals in the darkened trees near the cul-de-sac area of Parkland Drive.

She said as a result of the dim lighting, many elderly residents didn't feel safe leaving their homes at night to walk to the nearby bowling club and had trouble reversing out of their driveways.

"It was pitch black out there," Ms Coppock said.

In 2012, she was determined to change the fact there were only two streetlights on Parkland Drive, both quite far from her home.

"There are so many single women around here, it wasn't safe," Mrs Coppock said.

Mrs Coppock knocked on doors in the area and collected signatures for a petition she sent to Ballina Shire Council.

After acknowledging the letter and taking the proposal to a vote in 2012, the council decided street lights would not be installed as they were too costly.

However, Mrs Coppock wasn't taking no for an answer.

"I phoned all four of the councillors who said 'No' and asked them 'Why?'," she said.

And, after writing to Member for Ballina Don Page in 2013 and the issue being brought to another council vote, it was decided the lights would be installed. "One resident told me we've been waiting 40 years for these," Mrs Coppock said.

At dusk on Friday the lights were connected and Mrs Coppock couldn't be happier. "The residents have been joking I'm going to be dancing up and down the street in my nightgown," Mrs Coppock said with a laugh.



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