‘Platform’ to fix wall view
LIKE many locals, Ballina's deputy mayor, Cr Sue Meehan wants to again enjoy the ocean views from the end of Ballina's North Wall - views which were taken away when upgrade works were completed before Easter.
But now the large concrete blocks called hanbars are in place, she thinks a raised viewing platform at the eastern end of the wall is the answer.
Cr Meehan isn't on her own - other locals have put forward the same idea online.
At the April 24 meeting she will ask Ballina Shire Council to agree to write to State Member for Ballina Don Page and Andrew Stoner, the Minister for Trade and Investment, who is responsible for Crown Lands, asking the Government to build a viewing platform.
She also wants council to "clearly state our disappointment with the visual impact and outlook resulting from the recent replenishment work on the Richmond River north break- wall."
Cr Meehan recognises that the breakwall's primary purpose is to make the Richmond River navigable and the upgrade works were necessary.
But she said, since the upgrade work had been done, council had received plenty of negative comments about the loss of the views - and they needed to be restored.
She was behind the push to get the State Government to put down the asphalt path at the eastern end of the wall several years ago.
Since that was done, the number of people who use the wall has increased significantly, she said.
"Over the years, North Wall has become an iconic part of Ballina Shire," she said.
"There is plenty of room to build a platform. It would be a really good outcome."
While it's just an idea at the moment, Cr Meehan said a raised, circular platform built of recycled plastic with ramp access and a fence around the platform's perimeter would "make a huge difference".
"At least people would be elevated enough to see over the top of the forest of mass- ive, ugly concrete shapes and we might again share delights such as whale and dolphin-watching from the end of the wall," she said.
Meanwhile, even before council has decided to write him a letter and after receiving plenty of negative feedback, Mr Page has already spoken to Crown Lands' staff about a platform.