Who should pay to build toilets at popular waterfall?
BALLINA Shire councillor Phil Meehan wrote this letter after the adoption of a management plan for The Killen Falls recreation area at Tintenbar at the council's October meeting:
THE construction of a permanent toilet block, part of the plan, at a projected cost of $140,000 plus annual maintenance of $15,000 is still a point of contention.
In the course of the debate about the management plan I pointed out that Rous County Council, the regional water provider, owns the adjacent dam, built the car park at Killen Falls, constructed a visitor walk to a dam viewing platform, provides picnic facilities and actively promotes visitation to the Killen Falls area on its website and through signage and printed materials.
Ballina Shire Council does have responsibility for the other walking track from the car park, that takes visitors to the top of the falls.
So the question is 'why should Ballina Shire Council residents bear the full cost of the necessary toilet facility?' This would be totally unfair.
Clearly there is a shared responsibility for the cost of necessary infrastructure, with Rous County Council.
In light of this I moved during the debate, that the construction of the toilet block not occur until Rous County Council provides fifty per cent of the cost. This was wisely supported by fellow councillors.
In the short term Ballina Council will continue to provide a portable toilet during the summer months.
I trust that Rous County Council will realise its responsibility and come on board by contributing fifty per cent of the cost of the much needed permanent toilet facility.
Councillor Phil Meehan.