Move to close road hits dead end

PLANS to close Deadmans Creek Road at Ballina Heights have been put on hold, after more than 120 residents signed a petition asking Ballina Shire Council to keep it open.

The council had planned to close the road once Cumbalum Way was built because of flooding issues.

That would leave only one way in and out of the estate.

But at yesterday’s meeting, it was decided that further investigations would be done.

Council staff said it was possible the road could be reconfigured by lowering it as close as possible to the natural surface level.

For residents of Ballina Heights/Cumbalum it was a small victory.

Local resident Hugh Tynan said there were many concerns with having just one access point.

“What if there was a fire in the nearby Ballina Nature Reserve?’ he asked.

“That’s 650ha of bush. I would hate to think we were all locked into a place where there’s only one way in and out.

“The council’s decision was a wise one. It’s good to see there was a bit of sense.

“This whole thing was an example of poor consultation.

“As the residents we should be a part of any major decision.

“All residents are entitled to better openness and transparency.”

Mr Tynan said theresidents wanted to be part of future decision-making processes.

“There are lots ofother issues that need to be considered regarding flooding,” he said.

“We would like to have a look at the models the council is talking about.”

Another local resid-ent, Brett Quinn, started the petition in May bec-ause he was worried that Cumbalum, identified as one of Ballina’s biggest growth area, would bec-ome a major safety haz-ard as the populationexploded over the next 25 years.

According to council projections, the area could have 11,000 residents by 2035.

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