OPINION: Will this Lismore's chance to shine?

IT WOULD be an understatement to say that Lismore suffers from growing pains.

New land releases have been few and far between as the city grapples with upgrading its infrastructure first.

But community leaders gathered at a breakfast yesterday and were talking up potential growth.

Lismore City Council has launched a prospectus which can be used to pitch for "big ticket" public funding and private investment.

It plays to Lismore's strengths which is as the regional hub for health, education, financial and other business services.

The full completion of the Stage 3 upgrade of Lismore Base Hospital is expected to be a massive boon for the city.

New greenfield developments are also expected to come on track including the North Lismore Plateau.

The city's population is expected to grow by 5300 and that is a good thing because a stagnating Lismore is no good for the region.

Ballina seems to be vying with Lismore for top dog status.

Not to forget Casino, with its rail transport centre expected to draw businesses from around the region.

Competition for Lismore comes from within the Northern Rivers as well as nearby urban centres such as the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

To maintain its standing as the 'capital' of our region something has got to give and it has to happen soon.

Forums like the one yesterday are exactly the shot in the arm the city needs to promote its confident outlook.

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