Coastal pathway funding up for discussion at Ballina meeting

FUNDING for two sections of the Ballina Shire's coastal pathway will be discussed at the council's meeting today.

Development consent for part of the shared path west of The Coast Road is expected to be granted in the near future, and two stages have received $300,000 in funding from the State Government.

The money is for a 2.5m wide asphalt shared path between North Angels Beach roundabout and opposite the Flat Rock intersection, and another section from the Flat Rock intersection to Headlands Dr.

The total length of both sections is 1.5km, and the work would cost $600,000, requiring an additional $300,000 from the council.

Civil services group manager John Truman said construction could start as soon as February.

"We're hoping to start on those sections because we have access to government funds and because those sections will be approved first," he said.

"We will be completing the environmental assessments of the rest of the sections."

Councillors will today decide whether to authorise the start of stages 1 and 2.

But not everyone is happy with how the coastal shared pathway project has moved forward.

Alan Brown served many years as a Ballina Shire councillor, and he said approving the work would "kiss goodbye to any type of recreational path as a tourist attraction or local path for all to enjoy as previously

expected".

"All we will get on the eastern side of The Coast Road is a goat track fit only for the able-bodied," he said.

"To place this matter as important as it is on the agenda just before Christmas with at least one councillor not being present at the meeting is a disgrace."

The entire shared coastal pathway is a multi-million dollar project, which has been in planning for many years, and it will go along the western side of The Coast Road through Skennars Head along Headlands Dr, Skennars Head Rd and North Creek Rd right into the Lennox Head village centre.



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