FIRST LOOK: What an ocean pool at Ballina would look like
UPDATE, 11.45am: BALLINA Shire Council's deputy mayor, Jeff Johnson, says he is pleased that Crown Lands Minister Niall Blair has shown support for an ocean pool at Shelly Beach.
Cr Johnson and the council's chief engineer, John Truman, met with Mr Blair this week to discuss grant options for the proposed ocean pool.
"While the Minister ruled out funding these initiatives through the Shark Mitigation Strategy, he did offer his support for the ocean pool and suggested that there were a number of Crown Lands grants that would be appropriate," he said.
"The rock shelf between Shelly and Lighthouse Beach has already been surveyed and inspected by a coastal processes expert, Professor Rob Brander from the UNSW, and has been described as 'ideal' for an ocean pool.
"This really is a community driven project and the sooner it becomes a reality the better."
Meanwhile Lennox Head-based artist Mark Waller has create a to-scale painting of what an ocean pool at this location will look like.
It aims to give locals a visual idea of the plans for the pool.
ORIGINAL STORY: PROPOSED State Government subsidies on shark repellent technologies for surfers dropped dead in the water at a meeting between Ballina Shire Council representatives and Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair in Sydney.
Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson said the minister ruled out subsidising Shark Shield and other personal electronic shark repellents for Ballina's surfers under the government's Shark Mitigation Strategy.
The initial proposal was put forward, and carried by council in September, by Cr Philip Meehan, who called for the government to absorb 50% of shark repellent costs like Shark Shield, which retails at about $600.
Cr Johnson said the minister was reluctant to move forward with a subsidy, citing problems with allocating discounts for one group of surfers and favouring one preventative technology.
A sponsorship package or a council-funded subsidy may be considered by Ballina Shire Council to make the devices more affordable for the community, according to Cr Johnson.
The council's plans for an ocean pool at Ballina's Shelly Beach was much better received at the meeting.
In a statement, Mr Blair said he was "supportive of the concept of the ocean pool" but didn't support plans for the pool's development to be footed by the Shark Mitigation Strategy.
Instead, the minister suggested Cr Johnson and council's chief engineer, John Truman, meet with local MPs "to identify the most appropriate potential sources of funding" such as Crown Lands grants.