Brian Mullens of Ballina, thinks the new concrete blocks at the end of North wall in Ballina look ugly.
Brian Mullens of Ballina, thinks the new concrete blocks at the end of North wall in Ballina look ugly. Doug Eaton

Demand to fix wall view

PUBLIC outcry over the "forest of massive, ugly concrete shapes" on Ballina's North Wall has prompted the council to write to the State Government demanding the construction of a new viewing platform.

About $1.5 million was spent on the remedial works on North Wall.

But there have been numerous complaints about the hanbars, which now block the once picturesque view from the end of the wall.

Cr Sue Meehan put forward a notice of motion at yesterday's council meeting calling for the council to ask Ballina MP Don Page and the Lands Minister to fund a viewing platform.

"No-one is saying that the breakwall didn't need stabilisation," she said. "But to us here in Ballina, the wall is iconic. We all love it and our visitors love it as well.

"I honestly believe that the State Government now recognises that there is a problem."

Concerns were raised that the Gov- ernment would not fund a viewing platform because it did not fit within the scope of engineering works.

There was a suggestion that the council could be forced to pay for a viewing platform if it wanted one.

But councillors said it was not their responsibility.

"I don't know what (the State Government) was thinking when they did this ... did they just think, 'oh, everyone will be fine with this, it's all right'," Cr Ben Smith said.

Cr Jeff Johnson said the walk along North Wall had been about the overall experience.

"You go out there now and you get a bit claustrophobic," he said.

However Cr Keith Johnson said it would be interesting to see whether people still felt so strongly about the concrete blocks after they had been in place for a while.

"I went there to see how much scrambling it would take to get a better view, and it didn't take too much," he said.

"It's not the end of the planet, by any stretch of the imagination."

As well as a letter requesting the construction of a viewing platform, the council will also send the State Government a series of "before" and "after" photos of North Wall to highlight the difference.