ONE VOICE: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon (centre front) joins Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson and Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce president Louise Owen at a protest yesterday over the preferred route for the coastal pathway.
ONE VOICE: Greens MP Lee Rhiannon (centre front) joins Ballina councillor Jeff Johnson and Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce president Louise Owen at a protest yesterday over the preferred route for the coastal pathway. David Nielsen

Greens join outcry over coast path

THE NSW Greens' transport spokesperson, Lee Rhiannon, visited Lennox Head yesterday to voice her opposition to Ballina Shire Council's preferred route for the coastal pathway.

She said the route from Ballina to Lennox Head was 'foolish'.

“It would cause enormous damage to unique ecosystems,” she said.

“It's a great credit to the community that Ballina Shire Council has recognised that a cycle path is needed, but they do need to get it right.”

Councillor Jeff Johnson said opponents of the preferred route would continue to fight for the pathway along The Coast Road.

“We're not a noisy minority - we're a noisy majority,” he said.

“We know all the issues - money, the environment, community needs - but common sense isn't really prevailing at the moment.

“Why are we continually, arrogantly, pushing ahead with this route, despite all the community groups being against it?”

Ballina mayor Phillip Silver said staff would now start to investigate the council's preferred route.

“If it can't be done technically, environmentally and legally, then we'll have another look at it,” he said.

“There will still have to be a development application and that will go through the normal scrutiny.

“Council didn't lightly decide this. It can't be all things to all people, but its primary purpose is not to be a commuter cycleway - it is to be a coastal pathway.”

Cr Sharon Cadwallader agreed opponents were 'jumping the gun'.

“There's a lot of scaremongering going on,” she said.

“There is no way I would agree to putting the pathway in a dangerous place. And the most dangerous place is beside a busy road.”



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