Work to start on Ballina’s new marine rescue tower
JOHN Donoghue is still struggling to believe that bricks and mortar will finally see an end to a long-term battle.
The Commander of Ballina's Marine Rescue unit said it was good news that work would start on the long-awaited new $2.3m Marine Rescue tower at North Wall Beach on February 1.
But he can't quite get excited yet. Last year he said he didn't expect anything to happen until after the federal election this year.
"I know it's going to happen - but when you've been at it as long as I have, you don't get over it (the lobbying)," he said.
"Over the years, we've had that many false hopes."
But he said the new air-conditioned tower would be much more comfortable for volunteers, and would have a better view than the old tower.
He said membership in the volunteer organisation had dropped off while the battle for the new tower was fought - it currently stood at 51 - but he expected that to turn around when the new tower was built.
Ballina Shire Council advises the car parking at the southern end of Lighthouse Pde adjacent to the existing tower and break wall will be closed to the public during construction of the new tower.
The popular walkway along North Wall will stay open. It is expected that work will be completed by October.