How The Northern Star broke the story.
How The Northern Star broke the story.

Residents want lifeguard lifeline

HOLIDAY crowds are expected to flock to South Ballina Beach from Christmas Day onwards.

However when they do, it will possibly be the last season they have lifeguard supervision.

Ballina Shire Council last week voted to end lifeguard services at the beach after this summer, and will instead call on the National Parks and Wildlife Service to take responsibility.

Lorraine Leuckel from the South Ballina Beach Community Association said she was disappointed by the decision.

"I'm saddened," she said.

"South Ballina has been forgotten again by Ballina Shire Council.

"One week (of patrols) isn't nearly enough. But it's better than nothing."

Ms Leuckel said the association would lobby to have the patrols reinstated for next year's holidays.

"We will be looking into it as an association before they do it next year," she said.

Ballina Beach Village part-owner Rikki Grinberg said she was also unhappy South Ballina might not have a surf patrol next year.

"We are very surprised not one person from council has rung us to discuss this with us," she said.

"It's a very popular spot.

"We can have up to 400-500 cars going down here to the beach per day."

The council's general manager Paul Hickey said that while no community consultation occurred prior to the council's decision last week, consultation would be ongoing during the next 12 months, given the State Government had been asked by the council to considering managing swimming safety at South Ballina.

He also said the council maintained the right to alter any decision made regarding lifeguard services.