Council split on Ramada
A DECISION on whether to allow more permanent residences at Ballina’s Ramada Hotel has been deferred.
Yesterday, Ballina Shire Council considered an application to change 94 of the 115 units from tourism to short-term and permanent use.
Mayor Phillip Silver and Cr Sharon Cadwallader bothdeclared an interest in the matter and did not vote.
The remaining councillors were split 4-4 on whether to reject the application.
Acting mayor David Wright used his casting vote to defer the matter in orderto get more information about liquor licensing at the Ramada complex.
Speaking on behalf of the applicants, planner Steve Connolly said he was pleased it was not refused.
“But it was close, devilishly close. We’re still not home yet,” he said.
“It was deferred to get more information about the liquor licence, and that’s something I feel quite confident about.
“However, I’m still nervous about the final outcome.”
At yesterday’s meeting, the council also voted to put its draft alcohol regulation policy on public exhibition.
This would ban the consumption of alcohol at all sporting fields which don’t have a liquor licence. Certain parks and reserves wouldalso have alcohol bans enforced on public holidays such as Australia Day and New Year’s Day.
Cr Silver said there had been a spike in alcohol-related offences over the September quarter.
“I had been considering asking the council to reconsider a 24/7 alcohol ban in all parks and reserves,” he said.
“But there was a drop in the December quarter.”
Cr Cadwallader said the policy was about ‘trying to avoid situations’.
“A lot of the trouble that we get is alcohol-fuelled. We need to work with the police,” she said.
Councillors also voted to consider implementing a farmers’ market in Ballina.
The market would be held on Saturday mornings at either Missingham Park or Fawcett Park.
“If anything, I think this would benefit the Sunday markets. It’s a great concept,” Cr Wright said.
Cr Silver said the council could even consider closing River Street and holding markets on the street.