Location of proposed Lake Ainsworth foreshore works (outlined in red)
Location of proposed Lake Ainsworth foreshore works (outlined in red) Ballina Shire Council

'Last chance' to keep road open, says lobby group

A SPECIAL council meeting being held tomorrow is likely to see a decision made on plans for the Lake Ainsworth foreshore.

But there's been community backlash over whether a road should be removed to allow for upgraded open space on the south and east.

The Ballina Shire Council will gather for an extraordinary meeting at 10am tomorrow to discuss the plans.

The proposed works include:

  • The closure of the eastern road (with emergency access maintained)
  • A new shared path
  • Enhancements to open space and landscaping
  • Reconstruction and formalisation of car parking along the southern road
  • Improvements to stormwater infrastructure
  • Possible sealing of the western road (Camp Drewe Rd)

Pip Carter from Preserving Lake Ainsworth Inc. said a proposal to close the eastern road would be detrimental for residents.

Mr Carter said closing the eastern road would hamper access for families and those with disabilities wanting to visit the lake.

"It's going to restrict a lot of people going down there,” he said.

"That lake is everybody's.”

He said the council did not "give a damn about the public”.

"We've got proof the public don't want that road closed,” he said.

"They have no proof.”

The council has received about 4770 submissions about the foreshore plans and Mr Carter said his group had gathered 4369 of those, opposing the road's closure.

He has argued councillors don't have the proper authority to make such a decision, as the road's continued use was referenced in the Ballina Coast Reserve Plan of Management 2003-2011.

"I'd just like to know who have them that authority,” Mr Carter said.

Mr Carter urged those who wanted to save the road to attend the meeting.

"This is our last chance, if we've got any chance at all,” he said.

"Those people who want to tell the councillors they want the road to remain open, they need to be at this meeting.”

Mr Carter said he didn't have an issue with plans to improve the space in a broad sense.

"What we're saying is although everything needs to be improved, there's no concern about that,” he said.

"By closing a road ... they're not listening to the community.”

Ballina Shire Council's extraordinary meeting will be held from 10am at the council chambers on Cherry St, Ballina at 10am tomorrow.