Gone for bigger things
SOME of West Ballina’s biggest business names have gone or are going – but Chamber of Commerce spokesman Glen Costello says that’s because the community is on the cusp of something even bigger.
Mr Costello said the looming Ballina Bypass, combined with Harvey Norman’s decision to set up its new store in the industrial estate and plans for a new road between North Creek Rd and Burns Point Ferry Rd was setting up the entire town, and West Ballina in particular, for a complete makeover.
The bypass will mean highway traffic will no longer wind through the middle of town – but the experience at Tugun and forecasts from Ballina Shire Council suggest traffic loads on the streets of Ballina will not dip for long.
What will change is the nature of that traffic. The trucks will be gone and the cars heading through town will be there because they are going to Ballina, making for a more concentrated consumer market as well as a more pleasant environment for people shopping in the town.
Mr Costello said he expected to see a surge in “bulky goods” shops develop along the current highway strip as the bypass opening grew nearer.
One of those hurrying that future along is Brisbane man Rick Hyde, whose son, Brett, owns the Ballina Bait and Tackle shop.
Mr Hyde is developing a $2 million bulky goods shopping centre next to the defunct Big Prawn complex.
The centre would likely include between six or eight shops – including the Ballina Bait and Tackle store – all likely to be leisure-focused.