Fund Ballina's ocean pool in the shark strategy: Councillor
AT THE first meeting of the new Ballina council, re-elected councillor Jeff Johnson will put forward a notice of motion to ask the State Government to include plans for the Ballina ocean pool in its NSW shark mitigation strategy.
Cr Johnson says the NSW Government has allocated $16 million towards the strategy with a portion of these funds already allocated to the two local shark barriers.
"Now that the shark barriers have been abandoned there is an opportunity for part of the funding previously allocated for the barriers to be diverted to the proposed ocean pool project," he said.
"The ocean pool project has wide community support as has been shown in the Ballina Major Regional Centre consultation process and would satisfy some of the objectives of the NSW shark mitigation strategy in that it would provide a safe ocean swimming experience for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
"The Ballina Ocean Pool Committee has been working on this project for 18 months and has gained the support of Crown Lands, Ballina Surf Club, Southern Cross University (Professor Peter Harrison) and Professor Rob Brander (geomorphologist)."
Re-elected Cr Ben Smith has also put forward a notice of motion to investigate ocean pool options further.
He will move that council receive a report on options required to fully fund an ocean pool at Shelly Beach in this term of council and, as part of the report, council also receive modelling and additional funding requirements.
"A large part of the election cycle debate was around the ocean pool at Shelly Beach, it's clear that building an ocean pool at Shelly Beach has large public interest, it's important that council therefore investigates this proposed option and outcomes of such a proposal," he said.
"At the same time, it's important to provide context and compare alternative options.
"Shaws Bay has huge potential to become the crown of Ballina as it once was with planned upgrades to Pop Denison Park."