Future of beautiful, fatal waterfall to be considered
THE future of a popular yet dangerous North Coast waterfall will be considered this week.
Ballina Shire councillor Eoin Johnston will ask his colleagued to consider supporting a plan of management for Dalwood Falls, south of Alstonville.
Cr Johnston has lodged a notice of motion that such a plan should be included in the council's 2019/20 Operational Plan and that it consider "making the falls accessible to the public with basic amenities and provision for parking”.
In the motion, Cr Johnston said "wide community consultation” could address a range of issues at the site.
"Attempts to relieve council of its responsibility for the area have been unsuccessful and signage and barriers put in place to deter visitors have been ineffective,” Cr Johnston said.
"It is an area of intense natural beauty and continues to attract visitors despite council's efforts to deter them.
"Basic facilities could include specific road widening, a gravel track, litter bins, limited safety rails and comprehensive signage alerting users to their personal liability.”
The council resolved in March, 2017, to investigate the possibility of selling or transferring the site to the Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council.
They voted at the time to list the 2.4 hectare property for sale if that transfer didn't go ahead.
A woman died at Dalwood Falls in April last year and the attraction was closed to the public in June, 2016 when a 31-year-old man lost his life there after jumping from a tree.
Numerous spinal injuries have also befallen visitors to the waterfall.
Accompanying the notice of motion were staff comments that the Jali LALC had not confirmed a desire to proceed with a transfer of the land.
"The property has not been formally placed on the market for sale due to the ongoing discussions with Jali, although there has been some minor interest from potential buyers when council initially resolved to canvass disposal options in 2017,” staff said in the motion.
Staff said this interest was generated from media articles at the time and involved interest in constructing a home there, for which there is no entitlement presently.
"As the land has not been formally placed on the market it may well still be an option to proceed with a formal sale process and place the land on the market for a period of three months, which was the previous position of council,” staff said.
"If no sale eventuates the plan of management could then proceed.”
Councillors will discuss the proposal at Thursday's ordinary meeting.