Marine Rescue Ballina volunteers skipper Jeff Norton and crew member Tanya Binning aboard CG101 checking conditions on the bar during a training run on Tuesday.
Marine Rescue Ballina volunteers skipper Jeff Norton and crew member Tanya Binning aboard CG101 checking conditions on the bar during a training run on Tuesday. Graham Broadhead

Fishers want bar dredged

FISHING clubs on the Northern Rivers are “fed up” with the condition of the Ballina Bar and are calling for it to be dredged.

Secretary of the Ballina RSL Fishing Club Ray Smith said they would be “writing as many letters as possible” in an effort to have the problem fixed.

This includes letters to Ballina MP and Minister for the North Coast, Don Page, and other relevant ministers.

“I’ve got statistics from Marine Rescue Ballina on how many passes there are on the bar, the activity on the bar and the incidents,” Mr Smith said.

“We will be urging all of our members to write letters and to sign a petition.

“We’re hoping that the Cherry Street Fishing Club and the Lismore Deep Sea Fishing Club will do the same thing.”

Mr Smith said they had known for a long time that the bar was changing and becoming more and more treacherous.

But the breaking point for the club came earlier this month when one of their members, Barry Fuller, and his passenger, Ray Fox, overturned on the bar.

“He (Mr Fuller) was no cowboy; he was very experienced,” Mr Smith said.

“So that was really our tipping point. We realised we had to do something.

“When you do everything right and you still come unstuck, it’s pretty scary.

“There’s no Plan B. We have to dredge the bar and make it safe.

“And we can’t wait years for that to happen. It’s just too dangerous.”

NSW Maritime is warning boaters to take extra care crossing the Ballina Bar at the mouth of the Richmond River as conditions on the bar have changed recently.

North Coast regional manager, James Green, said a series of recent floods had caused sand movement and build-up in various locations across the bar.



20-50mm of rain possible by the end of this week

20-50mm of rain possible by the end of this week

Some much-needed rain will "likely” fall across the Northern Rivers

'It was the most awful day of my life'

premium_icon 'It was the most awful day of my life'

Shark attack victim was saved by his mates

Local Partners