Pathway may go along Coast Road
SECTIONS of the Ballina Shire’s controversial shared pathway may be forced to go along the Coast Road because of objections from landowners, environmentalists and the local Aboriginal community.
Many councillors had hoped the pathway would go as close to the coastline as possible.
However, in a report to be presented to the council later this month, consultants GHD have recommended different options for the most contentious sections.
Local Aboriginal families and the Jali Aboriginal Land Council have said they would be happy with the preferred route along Angels Beach if it was a raised boardwalk-style to minimise environmental damage.
But from Flat Rock, the consultants have recommended the route go along Flat Rock Road and join up to The Coast Road.
The pathway would continue along The Coast Road past Sharpes Beach because the landowners would not give permission for it to go on to their property.
It will remain on the eastern side of the road past Skennars Head, Iron Peg, Boulder Beach and Shag Rock – a major deviation from the council’s preferred route hugging the coastline.
GHD says this is because of an ‘ecologically endangered community’ on that route.
But a number of ‘finger paths’ would provide direct access to the coast.
At the Pat Morton lookout, the pathway will go around the eastern side of the car park and then follow the existing track into Lennox Head.
The route for Lennox village has not yet been determined.
Consultants GeoLINK, who have also prepared the report for the Ballina section of the path, are expected to present that report to the council in the near future.
And because Byron Shire Council has said it will not join up with Ballina’s preferred route at the shire’s the northern boundary, the Department of Planning will convene a meeting of the councils in an effort to find a solution.
A final decision on the shared coastal pathway route for the Ballina and Lennox Head sections will be made at a civil services committee meeting on June 21.
More information and maps will be available on the council’s website.