ON THE WATERFRONT: Councillor Keith Williams wants a Port of Ballina plan to develop the town’s marine industry.
ON THE WATERFRONT: Councillor Keith Williams wants a Port of Ballina plan to develop the town’s marine industry. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Chamber encourages marina

BALLINA Chamber of Commerce has welcomed a renewed push for a commercial marina for the town.

But it says the council must first rethink its strategy for the entire waterfront precinct from Kerr St to the skate park.

Ballina Shire councillor Keith Williams this week suggested promoting a Port of Ballina concept with the aim of boosting various marine-related projects.

These include dredging the bar and North Creek, replacing the marine rescue tower, developing a commercial marina and refurbishing the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum.

Cr Williams is hoping to form a Port Ballina Committee to integrate these projects into an overall strategy.

Ballina Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer Nadia Eliott-Burgess said they had been lobbying for the development of a commercial marina for more than eight years.

"It features heavily in our strategic plan," she said.

"The chamber is of the view that the Regatta Ave precinct is a perfect location for the development of a full-scale commercial marina facility.

"The sticking point is finding significant private investment to fund such a large-scale project."

Ms Eliott-Burgess said a marina would also offer "huge opportunities" for ancillary businesses such as boat building, repair and maintenance.

Meanwhile the Chamber of Commerce says it is time for the council to think about the future of Ballina's waterfront areas.

For example, Ms Eliott-Burgess said the Ballina swimming pool could be relocated to make way for a marina facility.

"The chamber congratulates Cr Williams on his vision for the Port of Ballina and hopes to work alongside him and his fellow councillors to pursue its fruition.

"In the meantime we call on the council to formulate a master plan for the entire waterfront area between Kerr St and the skate park so we can get a picture of what the community envisages for the future of this area."

Project list

 Dredging the bar and North Creek

 Replacing the marine rescue tower

 Developing a commercial marina and

 Refurbishing the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum



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