FUTURE: How Ballina will meet population growth
GREATER access to public transport, providing more social housing and boosting employment opportunities across the region are the top priorities for Northern Rivers councils in the future.
From roads, employment to infrastructure, the Ballina Shire Council have identified their key regional priorities for the future.
1. Ensure our road network matches our population growth
Key projects include four laning the northern and southern entrances to Ballina including River Street from Kerr Street to the Teven Interchange and Tamarind Drive to the Cumbalum Interchange. This project also includes the duplication of Canal Bridge and Fishery Creek Bridge. Another major project is the North Creek Road connection from Lennox Head to Ballina including the reinstatement of the North Creek Bridge. This project will provide a direct connection to the Airport and the Southern Cross Industrial Estate for the northern end of the shire along with the adjoining Byron Shire. These projects are in Council's Strategic Roads Plan which is based on traffic modelling for the shire.
2. Further enhance the Southern Cross Industrial Estate to provide employment opportunities for all ages
This Estate adjoins the Airport, with 30 to 40 hectares of land available for job creation. Opportunities exist for this precinct to become an innovation centre for the region, especially as it adjoins the Airport.
3. Continue investment for infrastructure upgrades to the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport.
The current terminal upgrade is almost complete, with the next project being to strengthen and widen the runway to cater for new aircraft fleet as well as further expansion of the terminal. The airport provides a significant benefit to the regional economy and continues to be rated among the top ten regional airports in Australia.
4. Support our waterways
Continue to lobby the NSW Government to develop the Ballina Trawler Harbour and the Martin Street/Regatta Avenue Boat Harbour, along with dredging the Richmond River, to support our river and tourism industries and provide improved recreational opportunities.
5. CBD town and villages renewal
Council has always held the view that investing in CBD infrastructure has significant benefits for the local economy. We have had a continued program of works to beautify and renew each of the town and village centres across the Ballina Shire over many years. This program will continue into the future, with Lennox Head identified in the next four years.
6. Continue to provide sporting, recreational and community facilities for our growing population
The Ballina Indoor Sports Centre is nearing completion and council has recently commenced the Skennars Head Sports Fields expansion and the coastal shared pathway. Soon design work will start for the Wollongbar District Park. As population expands, so will the demand for enhanced recreational spaces.