News From Around the Web – Feb 23rd 2017

February 23rd, 2017 by lou

Ballina, Byron councils seek to increase rates
Ballina and Byron shire councils are among eight councils across NSW that have officially applied to increase their general revenue above the rate peg for 2017-18.

Ballina Naval & Maritime Museum houses rich history
VERY little of the history of the Ballina settlement remains along the length of the Richmond River.

World champion surfer’s shark repellent solution
SURFERS paddling out at Lennox Head might do a double-take this week when they recognise two-time world surfing champion Tom Carroll in the line-up.

Tower built, now the recruits are coming
SINCE the opening of the new Marine Rescue tower in Ballina in October last year, the volunteer organisation has had at least a dozen new recruits.

Ballina becoming ‘concrete jungle like Tweed’
Ballina Shire Councillor Jeff Johnson is calling on his fellow councillors to reaffirm their preference for a roundabout at the intersection of the Coast Road and Headlands Drive to ‘send a clear message to the developers of Stewart’s Farm’ that council is opposed to traffic lights in the area.

A splash of cash for community
THE not-for-profit company Enterprise and Training Company Limited (ETC), which has an office in Ballina, has $120,000 it wants to give away to community groups.

The Art of Storytelling – In the Gallery

February 23rd, 2017 by lou

Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG), Ballina presents two new exhibitions in March and welcomes community and visitors to join us in the Gallery.

Our Ballina Table | Friends of Emmanuel Anglican College
Ballina’s fantastic local produce is on show not only at the market but also in the art gallery this month. This exhibition ‘Our Ballina Table’ features photography drawn from and inspired by a cookbook produced by the parents of a local school in 2016. Families shared their favourite recipes, together with stories about them: these were tales of special meals, what to do with your extra mangoes, recipes for festive dishes, things to cook for a child with food allergies, secret ingredients, special chutneys, grandma’s baking, crabs fished from the river and macadamias any way you please. It started life as a school cookbook, but a beautiful ‘foodscape’ of a community emerged, illustrated by the work of two local food and landscape photographers, Gavin Hughes and Wanda Chin. This exhibition showcases some of their fantastic photography and some of the best stories from the book.

If These Halls Could Talk | Arts Northern Rivers
If These Halls Could Talk was a multi-arts project developed by Arts Northern Rivers who commissioned renowned artists to transform seven halls across the Northern Rivers into site-specific works in response to the unique narrative of the hall and its community.

This exhibition showcases the work produced at two of the halls; ‘Land to Vale’ a film by H.W. Collective who worked with Meerschaum Vale Hall in the Ballina Shire and ‘20th Birthday Party’; a performance based work by Spaghetti Circus, Roundabout Theatre and designer and director Joey Ruigrok van der Werven at Broadwater Riley’s Hill Hall in the Richmond Valley.

The exhibitions open Wednesday 1 March 2017 and continue until Sunday 26 March 2017. The official launch event is Thursday 2 March from 5.30pm – 7.30pm and all are welcome to attend.

The Northern Rivers Community Gallery is located at 44 Cherry Street Ballina and is open Wednesday to Friday from 10am until 4pm and weekends from 9.30am until 2.30pm. For further information contact the Gallery on telephone 02 6681 6167.

Image 1: Gavin Hughes, ‘Coopers Shoot’
Image 2: HW Collective, ‘Land to Vale’ (photography: Kate Holmes)

News From Around the Web – Feb 9th 2017

February 9th, 2017 by lucas

Here is the round up of news from around the web. Have a comment? Please leave one below.

Teen thrown from car during Alstonville crash
A 15-year-old boy was thrown from a car when it crashed and rolled in a single vehicle accident on Wardell Road near Alstonville just before 3.30pm yesterday.

Sunday rally planned for Lake Road, Lennox Head
Lennox Head residents are calling on their community to support keeping the Lake Road accessible for all at a public rally this Sunday.

Hundreds of used needles put kids in danger
In bushland, next to where children swing into Ballina’s Kingsford Smith Lake, two fishermen discovered hundreds of used needles.

Ballina councillor to take road safety to minister
Cr Sharon Cadwallader said she has contacted the office of the newly appointed minister, Melinda Pavey to organise an on-site meeting at the notorious junction of the Alstonville bypass and Ballina Rd.

Ballina median prices approaching $600,000
Ballina house prices skyrocketed to $592,632, up by 9.9% since last financial year and up by almost 20% since 2013.

Work to begin at Lake Ainsworth

February 9th, 2017 by lucas

On Monday 13 February work will commence at Lake Ainsworth’s south eastern precinct to improve the space for future generations.

The popular recreational area upgrade will include additional barbeques, pathways, picnic tables, formalised parking, erosion rehabilitationand landscaping.

Vehicle access to the eastern road will close from Monday 13 February but will remain open for pedestrians during and after the project’s completion. During the construction period, dog owners are encouraged to access the dog off-leash area on Seven Mile Beach at the Lennox Surf Club and head north along the sand. The eastern road will remain accessible for emergency and construction vehicles but vehicles accessing the Sport and Recreation Centre will need to use Camp Drewe Road on the western side of Lake Ainsworth. This $1.7m investment and road closure was resolved by Council at the Wednesday 25 January Council meeting. The project is set to improve the overall amenity of the south eastern precinct, increase the areas available for recreational use and improve the environmental outcomes through enhanced stormwater management systems. By closing the eastern road people using this location will be able to spend time enjoying the Lake and the surrounding amenity without the inconvenience and inherent risk associated with vehicles moving through the precinct.

The project will consist of three distinct stages of work that will be carried out across 2017.

Stage one will commence following the road closure on Monday 13 February along the eastern road precinct, and will comprise water main relocation followed by path construction and landscaping. The path will be completed in sections to ensure the space is still accessible and usable for pedestrians. The additional amenities will enhance the precinct for relaxation and recreation.

  • closure of the Lake Ainsworth eastern road to vehicles
  • 3m wide accessible pathway
  • BBQ facilities and picnic areas
  • sandstone block seats amongst some open spaces
  • increased grassed areas
  • improved stormwater quality management systems
  • restoring and revegetating of the eroded foreshore areas

The second stage is expected to commence from 26 April 2017, being after Easter and the school holiday period, and will introduce additional parking for Lake visitors.

  • formalisation of the carpark to create additional parking
  • restoration and revegetation of the eroded foreshore areas

The third stage is expected to commence from 26 June 2017 and will ensure better traffic flow.

  • roundabout construction adjacent to the Lennox Head- Alstonville Surf Club architectural features for road and path surfacing

To date Council has completed the upgrade to Ross Street (road reconstruction, road widening and car parking), along with providing additional car parking in Pacific Parade opposite and adjacent the Lennox Head Surf Club.

All members of the community are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the project plans and factsheets available on Council’s website.

Local News from the web – 2nd February 2017

February 2nd, 2017 by lou

Disabled DJ robbed of turntables he got for Christmas
A MOTHER has made a desperate plea for help after a set of DJ music turntables she gave her disabled teenage son for Christmas were stolen.

From Alstonville to the red carpet of Hollywood
ALSTONVILLE’S Nicholas Hamilton may be young in years but already the teen actor is an old hand when it comes to dealing with the hustle and bustle of Hollywood.

Ballina Shire Residential Development Bounding Ahead

February 2nd, 2017 by lou

Residential property in Ballina Shire continued its strong and steady growth during the 2015-2016 financial year. The shire experienced an increase of 53% in the number of residential lots created compared with the previous year.

The number of housing starts increased slightly during the same period while the number of units decreased. The total number of commencements (for both houses and units) remained roughly steady overall at 257 new dwellings during 2015-2016.


This strong level of interest in Ballina Shire’s housing market was reflected in house values with the median house price growing by 9.9% and median unit price growing by 10.9% over the period, to $592,632 and $394,272 respectively by 2015-2016.


With the growth areas in Ballina, Wollongbar and Lennox Head continuing to develop, and new release areas in Kinvara and Skennars Head yet to come to the market, the residential growth prospects for Ballina Shire remain positive.

Council is preparing an economic development strategy for the shire which will look at the drivers of the local economy. The strategy will also examine opportunities and challenges including those associated with the residential development and construction sector.

Further information about the strategy and statistical information relating to the Ballina Shire economy can be found at (search economy).

Local News from around the web 27th January 2017

January 27th, 2017 by lou

Council votes for second shark net at coastal beach
BALLINA Shire Councillors have voted to ask for a second shark net at Lennox Head.

Who was crowned Bogan of the Year?
FLANNELS, pie-eating and beer guts were on display in true blue fashion during national festivities in the Ballina Shire yesterday.

MOZZIE ALERT: Ballina residents plea for action
THE patience of residents living near the boat harbour at West Ballina has run out, and it’s mozzies that have spurred on their call for action.

Ballina Hospital waiting room ‘improvements’
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) says it has made ‘improvements’ to the waiting room at Ballina District Hospital.

2017 Australia Day Award Winners Announced

January 27th, 2017 by lou
Kim Michelle Toft

Kim Michelle Toft – Art Cultural Award recipient

The 2017 Ballina Shire Australia Day Awards were announced at the official celebrations held in Lennox Head on Thursday 26 January 2017.

Forty-four nominations were received across the categories of Sports, Arts Cultural, Young Citizen, Senior Citizen, Community Event and Local Hero. The Awards program celebrates the achievements and contributions that our unsung heroes make to our community.

Mayor David Wright with special guest, and former Winter Olympic Gold Medallist and inspiring guest speaker, Alisa Camplin presented the awards to the all the nominees, category winners and the overall 2017 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Doug Stinson is a community all-rounder and hasn’t sat still since he retired to Ballina Shire over 15-years ago. Aside from his extensive community involvement, Doug’s nomination includes his involvement with the Cancer Council NSW’s Relay for Life. Aside from establishing the first Relay in Ballina and attending every year since 2003, Doug was also on the original NSW Relay For Life Taskforce Committee. He has also been involved with numerous community groups including the Lions Club of Lennox Head, Lennox Head Surf Club, has been President of Alstonville Tennis Club, Alstonville Soccer Club and the Ballina District Community Services Association. Besides his formal commitments to these and other organisations he is described as a genuinely helpful person and is always willing to “Lend an Ear” and give useful advice as a friend.

SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR – Shirley O’Brien has been coaching netball for over 50-years and was instrumental in the formation of netball in Ballina back in the early 1970s when she and a handful of other locals first began the netball competition at Wigmore Park with just a few teams. More than 40-years later, Ballina Netball is one of the strongest associations on the North Coast and over the years Shirley has coached hundreds of girls and has had many successes, including some who have gone on to play in the national league and others who have become coaches themselves.

SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR – Russell Priddle has held a multitude of roles with the Alstonville Soccer Club including junior registrar, coach, coordinator, groundsman, gear steward, go to man, event organiser and the list goes on. He remains enthusiastic about junior soccer even though his children are now middle aged adults and long left the junior ranks. He has been described as the backbone of the Alstonville Soccer fraternity for decades.
Other nominees for the Sports Award were: Maddyson Lloyd, Eleka Moore and Lilly Hogbin.

ARTS CULTURAL AWARD – Kim Michelle Toft is a talented silk artist who has an outstanding gallery under the Ramada in Ballina called “Seasilks Gallery”. She has also written, illustrated and self-published nine beautiful children’s books which all contain important environmental messages. Kim won a wealth of children’s literacy awards and environmental awards and is a valued and respected public speaker and an incredible ambassador for arts and culture in our shire.
The other nominee for the Arts Cultural Award was: Di Bell.

LOCAL HERO OF THE YEAR – Kirk Trease was involved in two lifesaving water rescues. The first was in May 2015 when he and another two gentlemen risked their own lives to rescue a father and son off South Wall Ballina. They managed to save the life of the father. The very next day during the flooding on Uralba Rd, Kirk rescued a woman from a sinking vehicle. His acts of bravery saved two lives.
Other nominees for the Local Hero of the Year were: Nicole Duverge, Fay Morris, Robert Wells, Sue Kelly, John Larsson, Horace Bevan, Nadia Elliot-Burgess, Don Munro, Doug Stinson and Jeff Doyle.

YOUNG CITIZEN OF THE YEAR -Emily Somerville’s commitment to the community is her greatest asset. She is an active member of the Ballina Youth Council, Ballina Junior Chamber of Commerce, School Captain of Southern Cross K-12, Leo Club member, SES and the LSTT Band. She has already received the Lions Citizenship Award. Despite her age Emily has dedicated many volunteer hours to our local community.
The other nominee for the Young Citizen Award was: Di Bell and Tamika Smith.

SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR – Beatrice Gray is committed to helping those less fortunate including the homeless, disadvantaged, disabled and youth. Beatrice’s voluntary work is extensive and includes Riding for the Disabled, Alstonville Agricultural Society Committee, Tintenbar Red Cross and the Ballina Hot Meal Centre.
Other nominees for the Senior Citizen Award were: Peter Richardson, Marie Caldwell, Audrey Doman, John Maloney, Lyn Hoult, Fran Byrne, Meg Gordon, Maureen Flanagan, Barbara Swain, Norman Lannoy, Sue Parker, Barry Curtis, Heather Cleverley, Mary Jack, Jenny Potts, Warren Barnes and Yvonne Scarrabelotti.

COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR – Tintenbar Up Front Music Nights commenced in 2012 out of a need to allow musicians to perform outside a pub or club environment as the premise was bringing people together who love to perform in a supportive and fun environment. The event supports local charities through raffles and ticket sales. The event is not sponsored in any way and has now raised $28,000 to support charities.
Other nominees for the Community Event of the Year were: Ballina Prawn Festival 2016, Ballina High School Farewell Weekend and Newcastle Permanent’s Cinema Under the Stars

Ballina Shire also welcomed nineteen new Australia Citizens, who pledged their loyalty to Australia and its people. We warmly welcome our new residents from Brazil, Austria, India, UK, USA, Cambodia, South Africa and Sweden.


Economic Development Strategy for Ballina Shire

January 27th, 2017 by lou

Ballina Shire Council is preparing an economic development strategy to identify ways Council can support and contribute to economic activity in the shire over the next ten years.

“Ballina Shire is a great place of opportunity where business and industry is balanced with lifestyle and a breathtaking environment. Steady housing growth, ongoing infrastructure investment, the Pacific Highway, Ballina-Byron Gateway Airport and proximity to South East Queensland are some of the factors that can be harnessed for prosperity in coming years” said Mayor David Wright.

The development of the strategy will be based on consultation with local businesses and key industry groups through a series of workshops and an online survey. There will also be opportunity for broader community feedback and involvement as part of the project. It is expected that once drafted, the strategy will be placed on public exhibition for public consideration.

Over the next month, Council will be contacting all business owners in Ballina Shire to outline options for getting involved and providing input regarding how Ballina Shire’s economic opportunities can be best supported by Council. Feedback from the broader community is also invited through the online survey or by contacting Council.

Council has also prepared a discussion paper to provide information relevant to the development of the strategy and encourage discussion. The paper along with further information about the project can be viewed on Council’s website at

Further information can be obtained by contacting Simon Scott on telephone 6686 1284 or email

Local News from around the web 20th January 2017

January 20th, 2017 by lou

Labor calls for investigation of overcrowding at Ballina Hospital emergency department
The New South Wales Opposition is calling for an external investigation into the Ballina Hospital’s emergency department after allegations of patients resorting to lying on the floor while waiting for treatment.

Ballina Players presents the musical Shrek Jr
The loveable ogre Shrek has landed in Ballina; Shrek Jr the musical is now playing at Ballina Players Theatre until January 22. The cast includes local kids from eight to 18, with Mullumbimby kids making up 10 members of the cast, including Shrek and Donkey.

Promising start to North Coast net trial
The initial results of the shark net trial on the NSW North Coast show that the majority of marine life captured was released alive.

North coast shark net trial shows ‘promising’ results
Four sharks have been snared by nets along the NSW north coast in the first month of a state government trial, part of a $16 million strategy to protect swimmers and surfers from ­attacks, with most other marine animals successfully released.

Lennox Head rising star Mikey McDonagh claims win in Subway Surf Series opener at Bells Beach
LENNOX Head surfer Mikey McDonagh got his year off to a flying start by snatching victory in the Subway Surf Series opener at Bells Beach yesterday.

Hollywood visits Ballina Dragons
BALLINA Dragons had the fun of welcoming a special guest paddler to their training over the Christmas period.

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