Safety fears: Cumbalum resident Brett Quinn is concerned that changes to access roads to his estate will create problems as the population grows.
Safety fears: Cumbalum resident Brett Quinn is concerned that changes to access roads to his estate will create problems as the population grows. Cathy Adams

Resident fights to keep road open

ACCESS to Cumbalum, Ballina’s biggest growth area, will become a major safety hazard as the population explodes over the next 25 years.

That’s the view of resident Brett Quinn who is starting a petition to urge Ballina Shire Council to keep Deadmans Creek Road open once Cumbalum Way is built.

The council’s preferred option is to close Deadmans Creek Road because of flooding issues.

The only way to get to Cumbalum would be to exit the highway on to the new Cumbalum Way, about 1km north.

But Mr Quinn said there should be two ways in and out of the estate.

“I used to be an ambulance officer in Sydney, and I know this kind of thing affects emergency response times,” he said.

“And if something happens on that road, the only access point, residents won’t be able to get out, or in.

“They will be trapped.”

And the problems will get worse as more people move to Cumbalum and Ballina Heights. By 2035 the area could have 11,000 residents.

The council’s civil services group manager, John Truman, said no formal decision had been made to close Deadmans Creek Road.

“It’s just a proposal at this stage,” he said.

“It is the preferred option, and that’s mainly for flooding-related reasons.

“Closing Deadmans Creek Road would avoid the need to construct significant culvert structures.

“But consultation is happening now.”

Mr Truman said issues such as emergency response times and safety issues would be considered.

However Mr Quinn believes the council has not planned the area well.

“There are plans to build a school on Cumbalum Way,” he said.

“So everyone who wants to drive out of the estate or back in again will have to go through a school zone.

“That could put kids in danger. The whole thing is impractical and unsafe.”

If approved, Cumbalum Way would be open by the end of the year.



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