Lennox Head Residents Association
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 13
by Margaret Richardson
John Truman (Ballina Shire Council) attended our November meeting at our request to discuss a Village Renewal for Lennox Head. As Alstonville, Wardell and Ballina have all had renewals and Lennox's 2003 Concept Plans and drawings are still with Council, but of course quite outdated ,now seems a good time for us to act. We were told that we must have a clear vision and objectives before asking Council to develop a new Master Plan as this alone costs $50,000 and funds must be available. Some of the 2003 plan could still be useful but it was decided that our President should approach the Chamber of Commerce and other interested bodies to decide if they are in agreement in pursuing procedure towards formulating priorities before approaching Council.
Louise Owen also spoke to us about the 2013 Lennox Carols to be held on December 8th. We have always helped before but this year our Coastcare Group stipulated that they can no longer provide manpower for heavy work but are willing to erect the fence around the fireworks area and remove it afterwards. We will also provide the "womanpower" for the candle-selling stall!
Pat Morton lookout is having its renewal and already a kikuyu grassed area has been planted and wooden seats, similar to those on the walkway, have been installed which our Coastcare group are going to maintain with Council providing the materials. The pathway from the top of the stairs south to Boulder Beach could be unsafe in wet weather so a request is to made for it to be constructed from some all-weather material. On the subject of walkways, Ross & I have seen 3 red-bellied black snakes on the path up to the lookout so it looks as if it is to be a bad snake season so please watch ahead as you walk up here.
I wish to commend our Mayor, David Wright, for taking the time to visit the 2nd Sunday November market. He spent quite a deal of time talking to stall-holders and market visitors about the future location of the market. This is setting a wonderful example to all Councillors - we have such a wide-spread Shire with Councillors representing one of three wards so that often they are not completely aware of localised issues that they are expected to vote on. By visiting the area and talking to locals they would be much better informed and vote accordingly. Our B Ward Councillor Keith Williams told us at our meeting that he had never had so many e-mails about any other matter than the Lennox market and at that stage had received over 60.
With Christmas approaching we feel that Lennox really needs a revival of its Christmas decorations. It is a bit late for this year but we are going to agitate for Council to provide a contribution for Christmas 2014.Lights in a tree in Ross Park is one suggestion but we would welcome other ideas and possible donations of help. Santa Caus will be replacing the Surfer Boy at the Byron Street entrance to the village on December 11th.
We do not meet in January but would welcome you to our meeting on Mon.3rd February 2014 at 7pm in the Activity Room of the Community Centre . A very Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year.
Lennox Head Residents' Association November 13
by Margaret Richardson
It was pleasing to read that the Local Government NSW Annual Conference held recently overwhelmingly rejected the controversial State Govt.'s draft planning reforms and recommended community participation at all stages.Council's participation should be given equal status to that of the Minister for Planning & Infrastructure in all planning decisions. The draft controversial legistation which seems to have no public support will be debated in Parliament this month and it is to be hoped that the voice of the public is considered and it is thrown out. This will bode well when the Stewart land subdivision (to be called Skennar's Head Coastal Village) and the Reservoir Hill proposed subdivision come before Council and ultimately public comment.
I had information from the Pidcock family following my article last month that the sporting fields are not on Henderson land but were constructed when the Pacific Pines subdivision was developed by their family and at their personal cost as they were not a requirement of the DA. Having had children who once were involved in sport in Lennox Head they felt that they would like to donate not one but two fields which, after construction ,were signed off in 2007 so that they became Council's responsibility. In the ensuing years these fully planted fields have not been fully maintained nor put into use so it is definitely time for Council to accept responsibility and especially provide a road by which to access them, namely Hutley Drive.
Council have enlisted "Complete Urban" to carry out an inspection of the Surf Club to determine whether to renovate or rebuild. Recent renovations carried out by Club members will last for up to 5 years. Following this would be a public consultation meeting on the outcome which would also include the Lake Ainsworth precinct near the Surf Club.One important consideration would be protection from the ocean (e.g.a rock wall) to be included in the Surf Club plans. Many people would not know that the existing club house building was built on slides so that it could be towed inland if necessary. Now with the infrastructure to the west of the building this idea becomes quite ludicrous!
We, the Residents' Association plus the Coastcare sub-committee, are looking for new members. The ten or so menbers of the Coastcare group are half over 80 or close to that.(Percy Chute who is 87 was involved until about a year ago and still helps when Santa or The Surfboard rider at the northern entrance to the village need a paint job.)They would like to hand on their skills to a younger brigade so that the work on the beachfront, lake and foreshores will be continued. The Association will be discussing during the next year a renewal of Lennox Village with concerns about parking, traffic congestion (should Park Lane and Ballina St. become one-way?) plus the Surf Club & Lake Ainsworth precinct development to mention a few. You are welcome to come along to a meeting and see whether you would like to become involved as a member. We meet on the first Monday of each month in the Activity Room of the Community Centre at 7pm to 9pm.
Lennox Head Residents' Association October 13
by Margaret Richardson
At our October meeting we welcomed John Truman Chief Engineer of Ballina Council who presented the Hutley Drive Extension Concept Plan from North Creek Rd. to Hutley Drive.This is the first extension however eventually Hutley Drive will continue to the west of Elevation then join Skennars Head Rd. at a junction with North Creek Rd.At this stage Council are aiming for Planning Approval so that it can proceed quickly once they are ready to start construction. This has been prompted by the Proposed Plan of subdivision for the Resevoir Hill area and the closure of the present North Creek Rd.as a through road from Henderson Place to the existing roundabout. Council proposes to construct the Henderson land sporting fields first and as our Association feel that these sporting fields are needed sooner rather than later we plan to agitate through the B Ward Committee for this to happen. John Truman agreed that another way out of Lennox Head to the south would be needed to supplement the one via the Coast Road and the other via Skennars Head Rd. to the Coast Road. Two routes to be considered would be south along North Creek Rd. to a river crossing exiting into the Industrial area of Ballina or a new road west of Skennars Head exiting into Ballina.
The Resevoir Hill Subdivision is one to watch out for when it comes up for public comment. The plan shows 149 blocks, the majority of which are under 700 square metres and includes changes to the existing North Creek Rd. which will need to deviate down Henderson Lane through the subdivision to a new roundabout at Hutley Drive and then onto the existing roundabout at the entrance to the village.This change has been planned for some years and now when the subdivision is approved will be required to be constructed. Another subdivision which causes concern is the Stewart land at Skennars Head where the State Government approved development on the eastern side of the Coast Rd. and once again small sized blocks.
The site near the Thai Gardens was quickly cleaned up by Council who have also tidied and cleaned up vegetation and debris in the drains and grounds at the back of Williams Reserve. This prompted a resident to write a letter of thanks to the Advocate newspaper for the work done by the Open Spaces and Reserves team of Council.Our Coastcare group had asked some time ago for a very spikey palm which is in the middle of the track and quite dangerous plus a non-native Fiddlewood tree to be removed so perhaps now is the time to renew this request to provide a clear and safe walkway for the many residents to the north of the reserve who use it as a quick way to the village shpps and Medical Centre area. The fellows in the Coastcare group have completed several more handrails for tracks onto the beach where the slope is perilous due to recent sand washaways and hope these are appreciated by those who need to use them.
We are hoping to conduct a membership drive as it is vital that the voice of the residents is heard through our Association so please give some thought to coming along to our meeting on the first Monday of the month at 7pm to the Actiity Roomof the Community Centre
Lennox Head Residents' Association September 13
by Margaret Richardson
As the last Lennox Wave reported the proposal to move the market from the lake has been a real "hot potato". The community consultation meeting was excellently run by the consultant with every stakeholder, no matter how small, given the opportunity to state their opinion. All were very respectful of each other even if their views were conflicting. As was also reported the recommendation was overwhelmingly to keep the the market at the lake, not necessarily in the same situation, however for Council to begin identifying the recommendations in the Lake Management Plan of 2002 and begin the process of implementing them.
There have also been differing opinions among the members of the Residents' Association leading to two motions being put up at our last meeting. The first was that the Association support the removal of the market from Lake Ainsworth which was carried by a narrow margin, the second that Council have a qualified scientific study done to assess the environmental impact on the lake by the road and the market and to advise how to manage this which was also passed by a close vote.Some residents may not realise that it was the Residents' Association who,under the guidance of our long-time President Brian Smith, began the market at the lake under the auspice of Ballina Shire Council. Because of this we received a portion of the profits from the 5th Sunday market to keep our group going. This ceased when Council transferred the running of the market to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Srevice who declined to pay us this money. However Council have always acknowledged our involvement by a Community Grant each year to keep our Coastcare group able to purchase materials and equipment for all the voluntary work they do in the community. We now have to wait and see what the next chapter in the market's history will be.
We are watching carefully for the next step in the Coastal Pathways development. Both the Coastal Recreational Path up to Pat Morton Lookout from Skennars Head and the Shared Path from Ballina to Lennox Head ,which traverses North Creek Road ,come into close proximity of two heritage-listed dry stone walls and it is imperative that they are not damaged in any way. The one adjacent to the Coast Road is thought to have been constructed by Edward Henderson who had a farm in this area.
The Heritage Signage I meantioned last month will begin with the first to be errected at Boulder Beach and Iron Peg so look out for them as both will give the history of these areas.
We have had concerns made to us about the development site near the Thai Gardens on Ballina Street which is badly overgrown and littered with rubbish. It seems that the developer is not ready to proceed with the unit construction he gained permission to carry out but we feel he should still be responsible for the state of the area so will request Council to attend to this.
I'm not game to comment on the beautiful weather we've been having in early August in case it stops and I would feel very guilty! Please remember our meetings on the first Monday of the month at 7pm in the Activity Room at the Community Centre, we'd like some new faces and ideas.
Lennox Head Residents' Association August 13
by Margaret Richardson
Our July meeting held on the wettest and wildest Monday night ever was very informative with Paul Busmanus and John Truman from Ballina Council in attendance to present the Ballina to Lennox Head Shared Path and Coastal Pathway concept to us. You may have seen the plan in the Advocate as the Development Application appeared in 10th July edition however submissions closed on July 26th well before you will receive your Lennox Wave.
Hopefully some of you may have taken the opportunity to comment either in favour or with suggested changes. These routes are to provide a long-awaited access by foot or bike between East Ballina and Lennox thus completing the paths right through from West Ballina. We as a group congratulated Council on the three routes and made some suggestions however reserved specific comment until we see the final detailed designs as they become available at a future date.
The plan to move the Market has been placed in the hands of a consultant which could mean that nothing will be happening quickly. I'm glad that a meeting has been arranged between the consultant and community representatives as they are the ones who would have much more knowledge of the pros and cons of such a proposal and most would have personal thoughts on retaining the market near the lake (not necessarily in its present position) or moving it away from the lake and into the village area.
What great weather and surf conditions were turned on for the Gromfest - that combined with the school holidays had the village buzzing. The week before our Coastcare group had noticed that the fence along the beachfront needed some attention with broken railings etc. and spent their time mending and replacing as necessary.
Just as well as that fence had a lot of interested bodies perched along it watching their favourite surfers and to my knowledge the fence withstood the onslaught.This fence is just about past its use-by date and Council has plans to replace it and our group have been asked to carry this work out.
The first carnival to be held for many years also added to the spirit down in the village and those with the foresight to give it a go are to be congratulated. I believe it will be held again next year.
Our Heritage Committee have all the information and photographs selected for the interpretative signage for the Ti-tree fence and the beach channels and once they have been approved by Council staff and designers they will be put in place so look out fro them.We need younger members as many of us are ready to have a spell so please come and join us on the first
Lennox Head Residents' Association July 13
by Margaret Richardson
At our June meeting we had Ian Cook from the Rural Fire Service as our guest speaker. He was in Lennox Head as a representative of the Bush Fire Management Committee and concentrating on North Lennox Head which has been identified as a high risk area. He was meeting with householders in this area as well as representatives of Camp Drew and the Fitness Camp. This does not mean that the rest of the village should be complacent because if a bushfire gets out of control in this area it will quickly spread to other parts of the community. All households should have a Bushfire Survival Plan - Know the fire damage rating - Do you stay and defend - Do you leave early - Have a backup plan - and most importantly where do you go after you have made an informed decision? Williams Reserve has been designated as the Lennox Head Safe Place and we were told to definitely not go to the beach. Community maps will be erected showing all the details so please read them then, not wait till a day of high fire danger - be prepared well in advance. In the meantime make sure your block is clear of flamable rubbish, that heavy mulch should be wetted regularly and don't forget gutters must be free of leaves etc. More information can be found on www.rfs.nsw.gov.au or by ringing the Community Protection Officer on 6655 7002.
We have formed a committee to comment on the State's White Paper on a Better Planning System. The aim is to process Development Applications faster but it is becoming a hard task as the information seems to be deliberately unclear so that the Government can follow its own agenda. It is written in such a way to be non specific and open to a very wide interpretation. We can't afford to have building regulations that are outside the local standards set for Lennox Head e.g non-notification of neighbours and no form of imput available. You can be sure that the hard fought building standards that we have had put in place by local Councils are worth fighting for and that we will not be fighting alone as most areas in the state will have the same reservations as we do.
The Ballina Shire Council's Delivery Plan (another name for a Budget) was only presented in Lennox Head and Wardell this year as nobody attended in Ballina or Wardell last year. It was held in the Community Centre on June 4th and 8 people were present as well as the Mayor, General Manager, our Councillor Sharon Cadwallader and the Council's Finance Officer. Nothing startling was revealed to affect us and we all realise that rate rises are a fact of life.
The beachfront has been severely eroded again by rough seas and high tides making it even more imperative to protect the dunal system.The prognosis that the water will be going through the Bottle Shop of the Hotel in 25 years seems more of a reality when you see how much of the dune we have lost in only a couple of months.
Lennox Head Residents' Association June 13
by Margaret Richardson
At our last meeting we were pleased to welcome Paul Hickey ,General Manager, and John Truman, Chief Engineer of Ballina Council who discussed the Concept Plan for Pat Morton Lookout with us. Our endeavour is for the area to remain in its natural state wherever possible but be accessable to as many people as possible but we acknowledge that the 25 space carpark will need to be bitumen. We feel it is most important that this plan is made with the proposed walkway and cycleway in mind as it is useless doing single projects unless they are intergrated with the overall plan.The final plan will be out for comment so please look for it in Council notices and have your say. We have a sub-committee preparing our response for Council.
Charlie Hewitt from Geolink also spoke on the Coastal Zone Management Plan as it affected Lennox Head beach and it is quite alarming to hear how the beach and residences on the beachfront could be affected. Many of us will not live to see this but that does not mean sitting back and letting it happen. A Coastal Hazards Study Plan done some years ago for Councils up and down the coast is being used as a basis. Also in 2005 a Seven Mile Beach Plan was completed and this is used by our Coastcare Group to protect the dunes so they feel disappointed to find their work vandalised from time to time. By restricting and redefining the number of entry points onto the beach you limit the weak points where erosion and denuding of the dunes can occur. This restricts damage during heavy seas as a vegetated dune is the first line of defence.
Our Heritage Committee are busy designing Interpretive signage to be erected at places of interest around the village so watch out for these and learn more about the place where you live.
It seems inevitable that Council will move the market from the eastern side of the lake. The lake is suffering for many reasons, one being the location of the market. No matter where it is moved to it will be sad that the Lakeside Market may not be at the lake as it has been for so many years.
Two of our B Ward Councillors were also at our meeting. We thank them for making time in their busy lives to do this as they can listen to our concerns and relay them back to Council as a whole. Often they can answer queries on the spot and save us having to contact Council and wait for a reply. We meet on the first Monday of the month at 7PM in the Community Centre and welcome new members.
Lennox Head Residents' Association May 13
by Margaret Richardson
Rain,rain & more rain which seems to have led to a quieter time than usual over Easter & the Qld. school holidays however the start to the NSW school holidays seem to be better so here's hoping it stays fine.
As Lennox Head is a place more suited to outdoor activities I wondered what do you do if it rains & I decided that the Library would be one of the most interesting places to be and what a wonderful place our library is.
When I first joined the library it was to choose your books from the back of the mobile library vehicle which visited every week.
Sadly the Community Centre as a meeting place does not fulfill the needs of many groups who now need to use it as the Bowls Club has closed. Our group meet there and contend with a basketball group on the other side of the partition with the noise of balls hitting it and the inevitable sound of the whistle.
The Probus Club find the largest meeting room quite cramped with deplorable accoustics (not good for older people) and the need to have our morning tea in the foyer which must be annoying to others using the Centre and the noise of chatter filtering into the library.
Then there are the Indoor Bowlers who had their hall demolished to use the site for the new centre and now cannot operate because there is nowhere to store their gear and no appropriate space to place their mats.
We all need to get behind the committee working to reopen the Bowls Club as it is a community facility that is really needed.
Our Association have submitted a response to the Community Strategic Plan and have made deputation to Council in regard to the Lennox Headland Plan of Management as currently this has totally disregarded the original plan that the community supported.
We are also looking at the White Paper to identify issues relative to Lennox and will be involved in the Fire Emergency and Risk Plan. Another plan on display in the library is the Ballina coastal Zone Management Plan which is relavent to Lennox and the sections of interest are 2.1,3.4 to 3.4.3,and 3.5.1 & 3.5.2 if you want to study it.
Also a Council representative will be at our May 6th meeting as well as outside IGA on Sat.4th May from 9am to noon to talk to any one with any questions or needing any explanations.
It was brought to our attention that the signs regarding dogs on the beach at the Surf Club and the parking area south of the club have been changed to allow dogs on leads to be taken through the area at the north of the Club house.
A Council representative said this was done because of the need for this to happen on Market days but no public notice was given and Council are in the process of thinking of moving the market anyway. The dogs are to be kept on lead until the dog track to the north is reached and the reverse coming back.
So far I have seen more dogs off lead than on lead and the Ranger never in sight. Now the dogs have free use of 2/3rds of our beach and it has been noticed that there are less terns, small terns, sandpipers, oyster catchers, pelicans and other sea birds that come ashore to dry their wings because their sanctuary zone has been lessened and an increase in dog numbers.
There are so many responsible dog owners but those who ignore that there are certain areas that are to be shared and others for people only are not playing the game.
We would welcome new members to our meetings held on the first Monday of the month in the Activities room at the Community Centre so please come and join us.
Lennox Head Residents' Association April 13
by Margaret Richardson
In last month's issue I spoke too soon about the Coastcare groups fences holding up during the cyclonic conditions as when the next cyclonic storms hit several weeks later they lost most of the shade cloth and many posts plus the dunes were chewed out quite badly. Ironically the 5 metre waves in the second event did considerably more damage than the previous 8 metre waves because they were more persistent and eroded under the fences whereas the 8m ones went over the fences then lost power and washed up onto the grassed area. Keeping the dunes safe is a never ending battle and at times mother nature is definitely the winner.
The proposal by Sue Meehan from a Council meeting to decorate a Christmas tree in Ballina made us wonder why Alstonville, Wardell and Lennox should not have a decorated tree too. Many of you will remember that the Norfolk Island pine in Ross Park was decorated by one of our local residents for many years however was stopped by Council for safety reasons. Maybe we could request it to be lit up again as the small Santas and Christmas trees on the light poles leave a lot to be desired and possibly there will be no poles there at Christmas when all the power goes underground.Our Coastcare group will continue to erect Santa on a surfboard as they have done for nearly two decades at the northern entrance to the village. Council have since the proposal written to most community groups seeking sponsorship for decorations throughout the Shire and will report on the response at a future Council meeting.
Council's decision to spend $400,000 on a consultant for the refurbishment or otherwise of the Surf Club seems an exorbitant amount. The Ball State university students who visit Lennox each year did a plan in consultation with the Surf Club as a community service project a few years ago.The members of the Surf Club surely should be consulted again as to what they need and the existing plan be looked at as this amount of money would be better put into a final plan and construction. It seems that too much is spent on consultants who's ideas in many cases are ignored.
Our Annual meeting was held in March and we have a new executive. Graham Shaw is President, Alan Rich Vice President, Louise Owen Secretary and Fred Goodman Treasurer. We look forward to a successful year ahead working for the welfare of Lennox Head. If you wish to attend our meetings they are held on the first Monday of every month except January.
The details of this occurence were given to me by one of our residents to show why some of us live where we live! During the evening of St. Valentine's day a lady fell down between her car and another in Park Lane as she was approaching her drivers door. She found that she was unable to get up off the bitumen so called for help in her loudest voice. Quite quickly three good citizens came to her aid helping her to get up. As she was badly shaken and a little bruised another generous couple were able to assist by getting her and her car back home. Those involved know who they are so a very big "thank you" to you all.
Lennox Head Residents' Association March 13
by Margaret Richardson
At our February meeting we had all 3 Councillors in attendance which would be a first for all the time I have been in the association and very pleasing to see as was the statement that they are all working together for the residents of Lennox Head. Hopefully this will all be happening on a regular basis. They, as well as us, are concerned about the Rural Fire Service which looks like spending a considerable time in their present unsuitable conditions on the corner of Park and Mackney Lanes. Apparently the block of land that was donated on the Byron Bay by-pass had strings attached so that is why Council have opted to spend $55000 on the site. This includes parking for which the site has been earmarked so only $4000 is actually to be used on the shed as the parking will remain once the shed is moved. We still think that our "firies" are being dealt a raw deal and will be campaigning to get them a permanent home as soon as possible.
Good news is that Hutley Drive is to be continued along the back of Pacific Pines Estate and up to Elevation. This will be especially good news to Montwood Drive residents who dreaded the increase of traffic in their street when more land in Pacific Pines is developed.Hopefully this extension will continue all the way to Skennars Head Road in the near future. Hutley Drive will also have a shared pathway/cycleway included in the extension.
The toilet block at Pat Morton Lookout is completed, however many of us are surprised that it is only one multi-usage toilet - pity the poor people on bus tours who pull up there - what a queue! Some have been critical of the aesthetics of the construction but I feel that Council have tried to do the best with the space available and let's face it a toilet is a toilet, is a toilet! The continuation of the pathway to Boulder Beach is to be brought up in the B Ward Committee however availability of funds could be a problem.Those unhappy with the Rutherford St to the lookout section will be monitoring this construction realising it is time to concerntrate on the future not the past. The Pat Morton Master Plan done freely by Geolink and accepted by Council,then ignored,should be followed in future with updates on the web site so we plan to take this up with the General Manager.
Our Coast Care group are very pleased with the way their dune protection fence constructions held up during the recent cyclonic conditions. One contributing factor to this was how the stormwater drain headwalls which Council constructed to their design did what they were meant to and directed high seas away from the dune thus not chewing out the sand around walls and fences. These guys continue to work tirelessly; they enjoy what they do plus the company of others and definitely contribute to keeping our beach in such good shape.
Our Annual meeting will be held on March 4th in conjunction with the monthly meeting at 7PM in the Activities room of the Community Centre.
Lennox Head Residents' Association February 13
by Margaret Richardson
Best wishes to Helen Fry who has taken over as the Publisher of the Lennox Wave as well as Editor,a job she has been doing for many years. We wish you well and know that our very special local magazine will continue to be eagerly looked forward to each month.
At our last meeting we were told that our long standing member Baxter Williams had donated all the Neighbourhood Watch memorabilia to the Heritage Committee who were delighted to receive it as a record of a very valuable organisation which existed in Lennox in the 1980's and 90's.Baxter and others liased with the police to make our village a safe place where neighbours were aware of any unusual happenings in their area. Maybe life was not as hectic then and we had more interaction with our neighbourhood life and it is sad to think that an organisation such as this ceased because of lack of interest.
Our Coastcare group carried out their final "job" for the year with the erection of Santa Claus on his surfboard at the northern entrance to the village. Our late member Brian Smith created Santa so not only do we celebrate Christmas at this time but remember a very loved member of the Association. Santa was removed before New Year and the surfer boy and his surfboard (also created by Brian) will once again be put up after he has had a needed "paint job "
which is being carried out by Percy Chute.
At the B Ward Committee meeting last December our Councillor Sharon Cadwallader and President Fred Goodman put forward a proposal to flood-proof Ross Lane as a high priority. This should have been done years ago but now as Ross Lane is the direct route to the motorway it is essential. You may have seen in Council notices that the present site of the fire station in Park Lane has been extended for 10 years. Our Association are appalled by this and have previously made it known to Council that these conditions are sub-standard so urge members of the public to become involved as well.It is a disgrace that our 'firies' should be in these conditions for any longer than necessary and we should all be agitating that the erection of a new station on the by-pass land site should be commenced immediately, not in 10 years time.
As we agitated for many years for a Community Centre we also put aside some money to purchase something for the Centre. We are now aware that the Library could use some tub chairs, small coffee table, a reading mat and a clock so we are happy to purchase whatever we can for them.
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 12
by Margaret Richardson
Firstly congratulations from our Association to the Lennox Wave staff on producing 100 editions . We should be so proud to be part of a community that recieves a free magazine of such excellent quality,full of a variety of information and delivered to us for 11 months of each year..
Since last month's report on Ross Park we have been able to get the promise of new edging for the gardens after our President met with a Council representative in the park. One request down and hopefully more to come. We also had prompt action about the destruction behind Williams Reserve when it was found that children were not to be blamed as adults in vehicles were driving through an area near the Scout Hall and destroying the habitat. Council are placing boulders across the entrance way. Soil had also been dug out of drains to make BMX jumps leaving large holes which when full of water would become mosquito breeding grounds so Council are going to rectify this and we will follow up that it has been completed. Council are also to be commended for refusing to sell a piece of land at the end of Allens Parade and retaining it as it always has been - Community land.
Council have also announced that they have plans to erect whale-watching platforms at Pat Morton Lookout and will also strengthen the existing fencing and grow low-level hedges to keep people back from the edges. Some of this resulted after that area was cited as a suicide hot spot during a meeting of stakeholders which also recommended Helpline signs be errected. We would like Council to put the Pat Morton Management Plan out for public comment so that it can be reviewed and current proposals added to it.
Seating along the walkway/cycleway up to Pat Morton lookout was to be discussed at November's B Ward Committee and we suggest that it should be constructed of wood which has a natural look as there is already too much concrete and metal.
Our Heritage Committee has been thrilled with the number of old photographs donated so if you have some past history of Lennox that you would be pleased to donate or have copied please let them know.
A safe and happy Christmas to all readers and please remember that we are erecting the stage before and dismantling it after the Carols on Dec. 2nd. and would appreciate any help offered. Meetings will recommence in February - 1st Monday in the Activities Room at the Community Centre at 7PM.
Lennox Head Residents' Association July 12
by Margaret Richardson
Firstly my thanks to our Secretary Susan Kent for doing the Association article while I was away enjoying the delights of Canada and Alaska. The return to Lennox has been quite a shock especially as it has been so wet and miserable and equally as cold as Vancouver. Apparently there was also a lot of rain while we were away so that the Coast Care group was only able to work one day in May building a further new sand accretion fence and since then the high tides and heavy seas have destroyed previous fencing and scattered some of the remnants many metres up the beach. The new fence is still standing. Even though a lot of sand has returned to the beach and continues to do so the depth of erosion is quite alarming as you see the dunes disappearing so quickly.Despite the disappointment of seeing their hours of work gone in one or two tides the guys will collect the scattered materials and once again re-erect the fences hoping that the weather for the rest of the year is kinder.
Our Heritage group have new photos and newspapers plus a new slide show in the library on Fridays so try to get to see these. It has also been announced that the Time Capsule at the school will now to be opened on September 8th which is also Council election day so there should be a good crowd to witness that.
Council has announced that all the electricity in the main street is to go underground with the existing poles to be removed and that eco-friendly toilets will soon be operational on Pat Morton Lookout. There is also $10,000 set aside for "softening" the steel handrails along the southern walkway - it will be interesting to find out what they mean by softening! A planning D.A. will be advertised for the continuation of Hutley Drive to the proposed Sporting Fields which is good news as it means that the sporting fields must be closer to reality. The revised plan for the Kings Court reservoir seems to have met all the suggested requirements and after approval will be constructed.
After viewing the beautiful parks with colourful flower gardens all through Canada I have been made more aware of how dull and uninteresting the parks and gardens are in our Shire. Also evident was that no gardens were vandalised and there was very little grafiti so maybe we can persuade Council to start by brightening up Ross Park as an experiment!
Our July meeting will be at 7 pm on Monday 2nd July in the Activities Room of the Community Centre - all welcome.
Lennox Head Residents' Association May 12
by Margaret Richardson
At the time of writing this the sale of the two blocks of land adjacent to the Caravan Park is still in limbo awaiting replies or action from Katrina Hodgkinson the Minister for Primary Industries and Don Page Minister for Local Government as well as reaction to the petition which so many people signed. I hope many residents wrote to the two Ministers as the Residents' Association did - the more correspondence the better.
At our April meeting we asked Jeff Johnson to ask on our behalf about the Coast Road as we are concerned about the delay in finishing the surface which is extremely rough and noisy. We also have concerns that the drainage at the roundabout end has not yet been addressed. We have had a reply from Council's Chief Engineer John Truman telling us that hot mix will not be used because of "legistical constraints" but that a low-noise surface will be used however this will not be done for some time as technically it is better to seal bitumen in the hotter summer months. Read into this your own conclusion but I'm sure that we will be querying this statement when it goes before our May meeting and also asking whether the drainage problem has been fixed. We would urge residents who are concerned or affected by their proximity to the Coast Road to also write to Council for assurance that the road surface will meet adequate noise restrictions. The Association is only one voice and to be effective we need community support to hammer home the message. It is important to remember this in all dealings with Council - the more community interest shown the more assurance of a result.
Lennox is to get 6 public recycling bins in the village C.B.D in the next few months. Look out for them and please use them responsibly, if not we will very quickly lose them. Also watch out for photographic displays by our Heritage Committee which we hope to place in local shops.
I recently visited the Australian Seabird Rescue on North Creek Rd. where they have so many turtles in care and rehabilitation from swallowing plastic. Please when you are on the beach pick up even the smallest amount of plastic and save these turtles which confuse a piece of floating plastic for a fish. We are proud to be a plastic free environment so let's extend it to the beach.
Our meetings are held on the first Monday of each month (except Jan.) in the Activities Room of the Community Centre at 7PM. We have been pleased to have new younger members lately who have become regular attendees. This bodes well for the future as many of our older members feel they have reached their "use by date" and would like to hand over to a new brigade so please give thought to joining us.
Lennox Head Residents' Association April 12
by Margaret Richardson
A motion was passed by Council to sell 2 blocks of land on the corner of Pacific Parade and Ross St.for the ridiculously cheap price of $1.3 million. This is one of the few areas of public space left in Lennox and we believe it should be available for public recreational use as it is near the lake and surfing beach. Since a recission motion has been lodged, which we endorse as we are unanimously opposed to the sale of this land, we would encourage residents to join with us in lobbying against this sale.
With help from MLC Catherine Cusack in changing the Library Act the take-over of the Regional Libraries by Lismore Council has been withdrawn. Now there needs to be collaboration between Councils to find a suitable service so we will wait to see what happens as we are quite happy with the way our library operates under our own Council's supervision.
The Fire Station's new home site is still not resolved.The preferred site on the Byron Bay Road south of Ross Lane has been objected to by the Jali Land Council and until a meeting can be arranged with them no construction can begin. This is disappointing and means that our "firies" have been existing in third world conditions for nearly 2 years and surely volunteers who could save your home and life deserve better than this.
The latest on the Kings Court Reserve is that ideas presented at a recent meeting of the committee and Council on site has resolved to reduce the bulk of the water tower which also results in less expense. Council are revising the plans which will go back to the committee before construction commences.
The well-attended Community meeting about the Cumbalum Structure Plan was most informative. The remainder of Precinct A which is an extension of Ballina Heights will be developed first and will have very little effect on Lennox Head. Precinct B will take decades to come to full fruition - if you look at the fact that Pacific Pines was approved in 1989 (23 years ago) and is still not completed it is very doubtful that this area will be fully populated by the predicted 2031.
We seriously need to be agitating for Pacific Pines and the Henderson and Barrett land to be developed along with the roading infrastructure associated with it. We are seriously in need of these roads and retirement facilities which were to be in the next stage of Pacific Pines. Lennox Head needs affordable land as has been shown by the fact that because of lack of sales the Coastal Grove Estate (Survey Street) Land has been quite drastically reduced. Most young families cannot afford the debt associated with living in Lennox Head which is quite sad.
Lennox Head Residents' Association March 12
by Margaret Richardson
Once again the Coast Road is closed and due to be open again after the work is finished on March 16th weather and no unforeseen problems permitting. We hope that all the drainage problems are rectified and that we will have a smooth trip out of town for many years to come. The people living near the roundabout are hoping that the new surface will cut down the noise that they have been experiencing for years.
Our Heritage Committee have a designated room in the new library which is at the far end nearest to the parking area. In here are stored all the books, cuttings and photoes relating to Lennox Head going back to its beginning. This year each Friday and Saturday during opening hours you can view a slide show which has been put together by this group so next time you are in the library you might like to avail yourself of this. Our Coast Care group have recieved a grant of $2000 from Mobile Muster and Landcare who have acquired this money from the recycling of mobile phones and are puting it back into environmental works. The money will be used to revegitate the dunal area north of the Surf Club and to replace sand accretion fencing which has been decimated by the recent high tides. Most of our beach dunes have lost metres of sand which makes you realise that the prediction that in 25 years the ocean could be in the bottle shop area of the pub is not something that can be ignored - it is quite scarey! The Ball State University students are with us again and will help with Coast Care work as their schedule allows.
As you would be aware Lake Ainsworth has been high on the list of priorities of our Association for years with the late Brian Smith working tirelessly to make sure that Council did not neglect it which led to plans being drawn up. We have now resolved that the Lake Ainsworth Management and Master plans of 2001 and 2005 which recommend closure of the eastern road to traffic, upgrading of stormwater drains and recreational facilities, to mention a few, be implemented. Both Sport and Recreation and the Lands Department, who now control the Caravan Park, are involved in this process and surely after nearly a decade these authorities should be ashamed that very little has been done and Council should take the initiative to get the process in motion. All of this is needed to enhance the environmental and recreational status of our lake.
You would be aware of the contentious issue of our and other regional Libraries being taken over by Lismore Council and it is possible that there could be a campaign to save regional libraries. Should this happen there could be a petition so watch out for this and should you feel strongly about this become involved.
Lennox Head Residents' Association February 12
by Margaret Richardson
Early December saw one of the most successful Carols in the Park - so many residents joining together to be entertained, sing carols and witness the exciting arrival of Santa in a helicopter and ending with breathtaking fireworks. People must remember that this is an alcohol and glass free event and that the support of Ballina Council hinges on this - we could lose a valuable Community event if this condition is not met which would be a great loss for Lennox. Also in December the bus shelter upgrade was completed and now we have a building to be proud of which has constantly been in use by groups, families and individuals over the holiday season. The opening of the Coast Road was a pleasant surprise and judging by the number of visitors in the village I would hope all the businesses had a good season. The Coast Road will be closed again to correct drainage and carry out resurfacing all the way to the roundabout. We must thank Council for the bus shelter and the road rebuilding.
The weather was not kind to our beachfront with extreme erosion taking away metres of sand and destroying sand accretion fences. It is so disappointing to see all the Coast Care group's hard work being demolished by a few high tides. In some places the dune is back to the fences which were constructed 12 years ago but since the new year more sand has been coming in which is good to see and without the fences the damage would have been so much greater. The group will start repair work when they begin their 2012 working days in February.
A meeting was held with Council staff to review the plans for the constuction of the King's Court park and recycled water tank on North Creek Road. The result was that a children's playground, toilets, seating, landscaping and a small off-street parking area will be included with work to start when plans are drawn up and approved.
Friday 13th January was a momentous day when the boardwalk at the southern end of the beach was named in honour of Brian Smith who passed away suddenly in August. The date chosen would have been Brian's birthday and a large crowd of family, locals and visitors witnessed the ceremony where Judy Smith, Don Page and Mayor Phil Silver spoke at the invitation of our President Fred Goodman. After the unveiling of the plaque morning tea was taken on the grass with such a great view and many memories and talk about a very respected and loved man.
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 11
by Margaret Richardson
Christmas and the end of 2011 are fast approaching and we would like to wish everyone the very best of health and happiness during this season and for the year ahead. This year has been a very full one for the Association as well as a year of sadness with the deaths of two of our longtime members but the work of keeping watch over Lennox Head's future must go on.
Brian Smith's Santa on a Surfboard will be erected at the northern end of the village as usual and we are thrilled that the bronze plaque to be erected in his memory on the boardwalk has the logo he designed many years ago inscribed on it. Our thanks go to Council for this as well as their generous donation towards the cost of the shipping container which has been purchased and installed at the sporting fields on Skennars Head Road and now contains all the Coast Care group's equipment. This group as well as other members are involved in Carols in the Park on December 4th.
It is so good to see the bus shelter being restored and hope that it does not take too long as I've seen a couple of bus groups stop to use it for morning tea or lunch having to make do with the seats or grass in the park area. Hopefully the refurbishment of the toilets will follow quickly. A bubbler has been installed in Ross Park with another to go near the bus shelter.
The Community Centre is being used more and more with the playgroup area having to be extended already. It was so great to have local groups join together to perform in the Big Splash Songfest on 26th October with the profits going to worthwhile charities - especially the Rural Fire Service who lost the place where their shed was to the building of the Centre and are still waiting for a permanent home which is really not on!
We still have concerns over the Community signage for Ross Park not being adequate and as well the proposal to have additional information in the Ballina Tourist Information Centre. We have advised Council that information must be made available at the Lennox Head Community Centre as well.
In reading early records our President Fred Goodman found that in 1980 there was a Lennox Head Promotions Association which disbanded and reformed as the Residents' Association in 1982 so next year we plan to celebrate the 30th anniversary of our group. It would be great to get new younger members to take over the reins for the next 30 years as the majority of us will no longer be here.
After our December meeting we are in recess until February 6th when our meetings will resume at 7PM in the Activity Room at the Community Centre.
Lennox Head Residents' Association November 11
by Margaret Richardson
I am very pleased to announce that Council were whole-heartedly in favour of naming the boardwalk in memory of Brian Smith and we look forward to seeing the signage when it is in place. The Coast Care group have removed all the gear that had been stored on the Smith's property for many years and distributed it among a few of the members. Council have given them permission to put a shipping container on land where the Skennars Head Sports fields are located and we hope to purchase this container in the near future so that all the gear will be safely stored and readily accessable. A future purchase will be that of a trailer suitable for transporting equipment each fortnight to the place where they are working. If anyone has a 6' x 4' box trailer that is surplus to their requirements for sale we would like to hear from you.
You may remember that the Community signs were removed from the Coast Road by Council when they installed their new "diagramatic" town and village signs.There were so many unfavourable comments about the new signs that they are going to be removed and replaced with others which we hope are designed by a group that we hope will include community involvement. Ross Park is to become the place for a new sign that contains meeting times and contacts for the service clubs and other groups in Lennox. I would suggest that if you wish to be included you notify Council as we are not sure how inclusive this sign will be.
We have formed a group to examine the new Local Environment Plan (LEP) which was on public display till 19th October. We congratulated Council on dealing with previous problems and righting them in this new LEP.For example Condon's Hill will now be zoned Environmental Management which prohibits multi dwellings and Seniors Living housing which caused problems in the past. The Coastal strip has been modified to restrict the range of development which previously allowed such things as Backpacker accomodation, Hotels, Motels and Serviced Appartments. After Council receive all the submissions they will provisionally approve it then submit it to the State Govt. who hopefully will give their approval for Council to adopt and release it to the Shire residents.
We hold our meetings on the first Monday of the month at 7PM in the Activity Room in The Community Centre and would welcome you to come along and perhaps join our group.
Lennox Head Residents' Association October 11
by Margaret Richardson
Vale Brian Smith
Our Association was shattered by the sudden death of Brian who had been the backbone of our group for so long. Being President for 20 years until he relinquished that position several years ago as well as the Coast Care Group leader for many years and above all having a fierce passion for all that was Lennox Head. He never ceased in his endeavour to preserve our village as it was and not let it be spoilt by overdevelopment yet allow appropriate progress to take place. We all loved Brian for the quiet unassuming person he was and found it ironic that he didn't make it to our first meeting to be held in the Community Centre which he had agitated for and looked forward to for over a decade. He has big shoes to fill but we will try to make sure that Brian's ideals are upheld by our Association and the Coast Care Group will continue to keep the lake and the beachfront work up to scratch. Our thoughts and love are with Judy and we hope that Council will agree to name the boardwalk at the southern end of the beach in honour of Brian as this was also one of his initiatives.
The recision motion put to Council about the walkway handrails was lost but Council has agreed to having community imput into future designs before construction takes place and to this end will convene community workshops which people must make sure are well attended. The Community Centre Manager came to our first meeting and outlined the progress in the usage of the facilities which is pleasing. However I can't believe how small the meeting rooms are so that even with all three joined together there are organisations which cannot make use of the Centre because the area is too small to accomodate all members. These groups are disappointed not to be able to make use of our long-awaited centre.
North Creek Road from the roundabout to the top of the hill has been resurfaced and it is a dream to drive on it so we are looking forward to the Coast Road from the roundabout to Pat Morton Lookout being in a similar condition. The work on the slip should have been commenced by now with a predicted before Christmas completion - here's hoping !
We were very pleased that the Chamber of Commerce passed a motion at its annual meeting to increase their fees by $10 annually with this money to give each of them $5 membership plus $5 donation to the Residents' Association. We are hoping that they will become active members and so introduce new and perhaps younger blood into our group. Our meetings are on the first Monday of each month at 7PM in Room 1 of the Community Centre and we look forward to seeing you.
Lennox Head Residents' Association September 11
by Margaret Richardson
At our August meeting we had a number of visitors who had come because of their concern about the handrails that have been erected on the shared pathway from the boardwalk to the Surfers’ track, a matter which we had already written to Council about because of our concerns at the July meeting. With another 270 metres to be erected we asked that the work be halted so that the matter could be discussed at the B Ward committee and at the Council meeting. Many residents have expressed the opinion that they are aesthetically inappropriate and unnecessary.
To this end John Truman, Council Chief Engineer, offered to attend our meeting, which was greatly appreciated so that we could be made aware of the reason for their need. Because of Occupational Health and Safety the Council insurers had requested the construction of the handrails so for Council to avoid litigation should someone fall from the walkway they were deemed a necessity.
We questioned why other similar pathways in the Shire which seemed to present just as much danger were not similarly fenced and doubt the answer that they are not considered high risk. Another request was made that should they remain they be constructed from timber rather than ugly steel that does not fit the coastal environment.
As Council voted to go ahead with the remaining railing at its meeting we decided to ask for a recision motion and have been advised that two Councillors are willing to do this for us as it must come from a Councillor.
Much more on this issue is expected!
John Truman answered all questions honestly on the handrail matter as well as ones about the Coastal Road slip and the proposed route for the cycleway/shared pathway to be constructed from Rutherford Street across Ballina St down Park Lane to Byron Street .
The work on the Coast Rd should be started in August at a cost of $1.8 million.
This includes repair of North Creek Rd from the roundabout past the water tower as this will be needed to take extra traffic and the repair of the Coast Road from the slip to the roundabout.
That is the good news but the cycleway/walkway route preferred by Council is once again not what we consider is the best option or practical but we decided to wait until it goes on public display before taking any action.
Our meetings are now in Room 1 of the Community Centre on 1st Monday of each month at 7PM and we were pleased that a few of the visitors from last month joined the Association.
Lennox Head Residents' Association August 11
by Margaret Richardson
It is the end of school holidays and Lennox has been alive with visitors especially over the Gromfest weekend. It is so great to see most of the businesses trading so busily and of course the weather has been much kinder than in previous months. The warmth of the ocean has seen it warmer in than out of the sea with many making the most of this.
A few weeks ago we took family from Hobart to Byron Bay and drove up to the lighthouse to do some whale watching. Firstly we were informed that it cost $7 to park, quickly followed by the fact that the parking area was full (it holds about 30 cars) and we would have to drive back down and walk up. Not amused, but we did this and only saw one whale! A few weeks later a drive then walk up to Pat Morton Lookout provided the sighting of so many whales it was magic. The Council are in the process of building a walkway up the steep ascent from the parking area which will be followed by constuction of a toilet and, in the future, a whale watching platform further south along the track. I predict that will outdo Byron Bay as a whale watching site and Council are to be congratulated on what they are doing and perhaps can speed up the work as it will definitely bring more people to our area.
The problem of water inundation associated with the eastern lake road to the Fitness Camp and the off-leash dog track onto the beach is becoming bigger with the high water levels in the lake occurring more frequently and staying up for longer. The road surface is in a mess, the erosion of the lake edge is severe, unwanted chemicals leaching from the road surface are seeping into the lake and water, sewer and telephone lines which run under the road, if damaged, will cause need for repair which will be costly as well as add to further lake pollution .Our Association have for years advocated that the solution is to stabilise the upper level of the lake to stop flooding. To this end we are presenting a plan which would effectively do this to the B Ward Committee so that it can be further investigated by Council. This plan will also help the picnic/BBQ area on the south side of the lake where high water levels swamp the picnic tables and BBQs and have badly eroded the bank so that it is quite dangerous and difficult to enter the water in many places.
The handrails erected on the walkway east of the boardwalk have been widely criticised.Why was there no consultation or explaination for them being erected? Why are they made of galvanised steel which will rust out in a few years and why are the seats inaccessible unless you can climb over or through the rails? Maybe there will be an explanation!
We have welcomed several new members to our group and would be pleased to see more. We will meet on Aug.1st at 7PM in the Anglican Church however future metings will be in Room 1 at the Community Centre from the 1st Monday in Sept. at the same time.
Lennox Head Residents' Association July 11
by Margaret Richardson
In late May Council held 4 public meetings throughout the Shire (advertised in Council Notices in the Advocate) to present the draft Operational Plan for 2011/12 and the draft Delivery program 2011/12 through to 2014/15 probably better explained as the budget for the next year and the works program for the next 3 years.The Lennox meeting was on 26th May in the Anglican Church with only 12 people present. This was a night where General Manager Paul Hickey assisted by the finance officer were happy to answer questions pertaining to how money you the ratepayers pay would be used in Lennox Head. It was disappointing that more people are not concerned about how their rates are spent and have a say in what priorities are important to them, however the meetings in Ballina and Alstonville were not attended by a single person and Wardell had 4 so we do show more interest than others! As a result of a question at this meeting the our Association are requesting that the balance of the $50,000 already approved for the Foreshore Park (thought to be about $40,000) be immediately used in renovation and upgrading of the bus shelter before it deteriorates further.
The Lions Club are proposing to install more seating along the new shared path to the Surfers' track and our Coast Care group will assist. You may have noticed the handrails which have been put up as a matter of safety. Our group have been praised in their care of the beachfront which has withstood high seas with very little sign of major erosion that has occured further south at places like Old Bar and Flat Rock and to the north at Belongil and Kingscliff.
From Council is the news that $15,000 is available for artwork in the Community Centre with the Mayor and his deputy to make the decision on how its spent, however we have joined together with other community groups to recommend that $2,000 be used for a mural at the skatepark to be done by the skate group assisted by the Lennox Art Group and the remainder used for an artwork in the centre with community representatives to choose from expressions of interest. Council, apparently realising that the new village signs have been widely criticised, will also review the Signage Policy in September as well as plan how community service signs can be replaced and we reccomend that all affected clubs be included in this.
What a beautiful place our new library is! I could not help but remember the bookmobile van which used to pull up in Park Lane and about 6 at a time could fit in it and realise how far we have progressed. We are very lucky to have this facility - make the most of it! We hope to meet in the new centre in the near future but for now our meetings are in the Anglican Church on 1st Monday each month at 7PM.
Lennox Head Residents' Association June 11
by Margaret Richardson
Our Community Centre is finally finished for us to find that it is a Cultural and Leisure Centre (note below) according to the official name that has gone up above the entrance. Where oh where did this come from? Who decided to name it this? It would have been nice for the community of Lennox Head to be given some say in the name as for years we have never considered any other name than Lennox Head Community Centre. Many are unhappy with the design feeling it is not in keeping with the Lennox Head atmosphere and now the name has astounded many. I am hoping that it is going to be accessable to all groups who are wanting to make it the place for meetings and events but who are finding that because of the cost to use they would be better off financially to stay where they are. We need this building to fulfill our dreams and be a central meeting place for all and not a "white elephant". Now that there are no community signs at the village entrance this information should be made available at the Centre so that visitors can access details of meetings etc. The Probus Club often had visitors come to meeting because they saw the sign advising time and day as they came into town along the Coast Road and other groups would be able to tell a similar story.
A walkway/cycleway in the new Coastal Grove Estate off Blue Seas Parade has many who live nearby using it regularly for their daily walk. It affords both flat and hilly conditions to suit all capabilities and for those who live at the bottom end of Amber Drive it makes a walk to the village easier by cutting off the steep haul up to North Creek Road. The walkway/cycleway construction from Rutherford Street has now reached the Surfie's track. It is a very scenic route which most people could manage even in a wheelchair or on a gopher. It will be a long time before it can continue to Pat Morton Lookout because the last section has slumped along with the slip on the Coast Road.
Our Coast Care group are building more sand accretion fences along the beach with materials supplied by Council from Disaster funding given to repair beach erosion along Seven Mile Beach. At the moment this is being done opposite the Hotel and Lennox Street. When the lake level drops sufficiently there will be a considerable amount of remedial erosion work to be done there but at the moment the water is on the road again so this may not happen till well into the future. Once again the group will man the barbecue at Geolink's tree planting day on June 3rd at Lennox Headland so turn up to do some planting and enjoy the free barbecue lunch.
NB: the name change is 'all a mistake' according to a council spokes person. The name will include Community and a new sign will go up.
Lennox Head Residents' Association May 11
Many skateboarders have been able to utilise the new skate park over the school holidays using the various runs and sharing the space amicably, however I believe that their have been more broken arms treated than usual. A few have been skating the road to reach the park which is not such a good idea with all the traffic so carrying your board along the footpath would be a safer alternative. At the B Ward Committee meeting it was requested that security lighting be installed for the skate park and the whole of Park Lane so hopefully this may be in place by now.
Also at the B Ward meeting it was agreed that when the road beside the Lake is flooded the Market be transferred to Williams Reserve provided it is not in use for sporting events. Maybe, as an alternative, the newly constructed parking area near the Caravan Park and the revamped one on the beachfront could be utilised. At the last market these provided some much needed extra parking but parking in the lanes has become a problem to residents and also restricts cars using them when people thoughtlessly park on both sides. It was also agreed that charging businesses for footpath use based on land values was not acceptable and that it should be a flat rate based on commercial rent. The charges for the Community Centre are also inequitable with Lennox Head having by far the highest rates. Why is Lennox expected to pay more when all shire rates and charges should be the same? It must be made clear that the Community Centre must be affordable and accessable for all in the community.
At the March Council meeting our President addressed the Councillors on the proposed removal of the bus shelter when 100 submissions were to retain and refurbish it and none to get rid of it. Sense prevailed and the shelter is to be retained at its present size with a much needed make-over. New toilets are to be erected which everyone would agree are badly needed.
The Community Centre is close to completion as I write this in mid April but no opening date has been announced. The library building is finished but library staff have not been able to start the mammoth task of transferring acquisitions which will mean no library usage during that period. Unfairly the CWA whose main income is rental from their hall had to surrender their keys in late February and cannot recommence usage till !st May so they have lost over 2 months rent and have also had to replace keys for the new locks. Some compensation would have been appreciated but none was offered.
The fire station relocation has not been resolved but a few "niceties" have been installed. The land on which it now stands is to be used for parking so hopefully Council will get a resolution as soon as possible.
Lennox Head Residents' Association April 11
by Margaret Richardson
Our President, Fred Goodman stated at the Annual meeting that at last our efforts to have Park Lane upgraded and a Community Centre built have been achieved. However much more needs to be done to fulfill our Association's objective to improve amenities and infrastructure in Lennox Head. All positions were filled with a new face taking on the position of Secretary and another becoming a Committe member and I gained an Assistant Publicity Officer. We had one new attendee at the meeting - what does the T.V. jingle say "from little things big things grow"! Councillor Sharon Cadwallader attended the meeting and congratulated us on the way we run our organisation. Her presence at meetings is so valuable - not only does she give us first hand reports on decisions that Council has made but also takes on board our concern about Council matters that affect our Lennox Head community. Often on her advice we are saved from protracted letter writing to Council. When voting for Councillors to represent us in B Ward it is so important to choose those who visibly show concern for those who live or work in the ward.
The decision about the Foreshore Park was delayed till the March Council meeting hopefully because so many submissions were received about it so watch for a revised plan to be published for public comment and have your say.Because of lack of funds only 2/3 of the stairs plus the toilets at Pat Morton Lookout will be undertaken this year with the remainder to be completed in the following year. The fate of the Coast Road could take months for the appropriate action to be taken so be prepared for the traffic lights limiting cars to one lane to be in force for some time. There has been an increased amount of traffic on North Creek Rd.which can be attributed to people avoiding the lights. I have also noticed traffic from Headlands using the Skennars Head intersection because of the bottleneck which occurs at the Headland Drive intersection at peak hour so the time may have come for roundabouts to be installed at both these intersections.
The new village signage is up and I really can't believe what I see. How any vistors coming into any of these towns or villages can gain anything about the area from these coloured half circles which cost so much when you add the Consultant's fee to the actual production cost is mind-boggling! To add to this all the old Community signs at the entrance to the village have been removed as I presume they have elsewhere.
On a Sunday morning last month I noticed that the construction of the skate park had commenced then I saw a young lad with his skate board under his arm looking at what was happening so I remarked that it looked as if Lennox would soon have a skate park and was he happy about that . His face lit up with a big smile and he replied "Oh YES". It made me feel really happy for those young folk who are going to benefit from having somewhere to skate in their own village.
Lennox Head Residents' Association March 11
by Margaret Richardson
The Rural Fire Service has at last had something good happen in regard to the "third world standard" of their shed. A toilet was installed with futher improvements to be carried out in Jan/Feb. so I'm hoping by the time this is published they are enjoying the benefits of these. It is well over 18 months since the building was moved but it has taken this long for Council to be shamed into making it as comfortable as possible. We have not given up on an agreement being reached with the Jali Council for a Fire Shed to be built on land on the Byron Bay Road.
Council has been criticised for the flooding across the road beside the lake but the Lands Department are equally to blame.They now control the Caravan Park through which runs the road reserve designated to be the connection to the new Camp Drewe Road. The plan is to terminate Pacific Parade at Ross St. then taking the road along it and across the Caravan Park to connect with the existing road to Camp Drewe closing off the road to the Fitness Camp. This needs to happen soon so the two (Council and Lands Dept.) need to get together and make this a reality.In regard to the lake flooding our Association have for years advocated that by connecting a single pipe at the north western end of the lake into the creek that runs beside Barrett's Estate the flood water would drain out through this and eventually into North Creek as it did naturally centuries ago.
Our President was taken on a tour of the Community Centre and Library and greatly impressed by both. Everyone must be enjoying a "pot-hole free" Park Lane and perhaps now is the time to be thinking of addressing one-way traffic in it and Ballina Street. Our Association's Annual Meeting is on 7th March and we are becoming concerned for the future as our regular members have an average age of about 75 and we really need younger residents to start concerning themselves with what we do so that the future of Lennox Head continues as we would wish. Since inception we have had a very good relationship with Council and Councillors, in fact we have been the Lennox Watchdogs and have monitored all Council decisions that affect our beloved Lennox. We were behind the Lennox Head Strategic Plan, the Lake Ainsworth Lake Management Plan, the Boulder Beach Management Plan and the more equitable Rating System and have kept development to 2 storey height to mention a few. Our Heritage Committee have published books and pamphlets on Lennox history and Walking trails and the Coast Care group have planted trees, built fences and maintained all of these. Please don't let all this be in vain because we need the next generation to step up and take over the reins.
Lennox Head Residents' Association February 11
by Margaret Richardson
Welcome to 2011 and what it might bring for Lennox Head! So far the weather has played a big part in the holiday season being rather dismal with visitors departing early or cancelling holiday arrangements and part of our coastline disappearing in a landslip but when we consider what our Queensland neighbours have been through these things seem quite insignificant. We must remember how the rain cleared so that we were able to join together as a community for the carols in Williams Reserve in early December. I'm wondering, now that there is so much other entertainment than carols, whether the event should be advertised as Christmas in the Park or something similar.
Once again Ballina Council has amazed me with the publication of the new proposed "Village Signage". Perhaps it is my age but I can find no real significance in the differently coluored semi-circles meant to represent the various villages in our shire. If residents are confused how much more confused are visitors going to be! Although it was not in the pictures I only hope that the village name also appears on the sign or they will be a total waste. Talking to a representative of the community group who were on the selection panel he feels that those chosen are nothing like the ones presented to them.
At the moment the plans for the "Foreshore Park"on the beachfront from the bus shelter area to Lennox Street are on public display in the library and as our group where among those interviewed by the consultant we have been very interested to view this document. Many parts of it are not in line with the consultant's report and this is most alarming to us so we have a committee going through it and preparing a submission to Council by the 3rd February closing date. Two things which concern me are the removal of the bus shelter to be replaced by two picnic tables with adjoining roofs and the toilet block to be replaced by three unisex toilets. Both of these public ammenities have been allowed to run down by Council so that both of them are eyesores however they need to be upgraded or replaced by something that provides the same public use not down-sized as the new plan suggests. The bus shelter is used by numerous bus groups (both tourist and those from aged facilities from as far away as Lismore and the Gold Coast) as well as groups holding family functions and with a substantial make-over the same area and capacity could be retained. The consultant highlighted the queues at the toilets as a problem for bus groups so to reduce the number of toilets (the only public ones in the C B D) is disgraceful. The closing date for comment( ed Dave) is during the holiday season and if you feel you would like to make your views known Council should still accept them as a holiday period is not really a fair time to have an important document as this on limited view.
It is pleasing that Sanctuary Village have raised funds for the Fire Service and are as appalled by their conditions as we are. The more people who voice their concern to Council the quicker we might get some positive action for them.
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 10
by Margaret Richardson
It is disappointing to report that permission was not forthcoming from Council for our Coast Care group to erect the wooden seat on the dune where the tornado crossed the coast as requested. This area is part of the planned Foreshore Park Management Plan which we are yet to see but suspect that all seating and tables are to be aluminium. Our endeavours to convince Council staff that some people would rather sit on wood which does not burn bottoms and legs and is a fraction of the cost of the others seems to fall on deaf ears! Instead the table has been installed in a popular area of seaside park opposite Ross Street near the walkway onto the beach. A heritage marker for the tornado will be placed in the Foreshore Park.
Representatives of the Rural Fire Service once again attended our last meeting as they are really suffering in their situation especially now that Mackney and Park Lanes are being upgraded. You must feel so sorry for them as they talk of the damp that seeps under the walls of the shed turning the floor to mud and making ideal conditions for rats and mice. The standards they are working under are well below Occupational Health and Safety outlines so we resolved to get a representative of O.H & S to do an inspection as soon as possible in the hope that some action may be taken.We were told that the site Council have offered on Ross Lane is completely unsuitable as it is on swamp land and on a blind corner causing big safety problems whenever the vehicle needs to depart in a hurry. A loss of quite a few volunteers has also occured in the last year which is understandable. We, in conjunction with the Fire Service and the Chamber of Commerce are trying to get a meeting with the Jali Land Council to sort out the problem of using the Byron Bay Road site.
It is great to see Park and Mackney Lanes being improved but it has also highlighted that a path for the cycleway needs to be chosen that does not impinge on Williams Reserve Sporting Fields or Park Lane. At the last Council meeting our president was able to draw attention to the Management Plans for Williams Reserve of 2000 and 2007 showing a pathway beyond the sporting fields to the west running from Park Lane into Mackney Lane which many people already use as a quick walking track to and from the village. Several Councillors were interested to be taken on a walk of this area and we hope that the Sporting Association will also participate and see that it is an ideal solution keeping everyone happy. Also at this Council meeting were references to the King's Court recycled water tank and picnic facilities not being completed as a whole as was in the original plan so we have advised Council that this is not acceptable and should go ahead with the original concept and funding. The Barrett land on the Byron Bay Rd will not be rezoned until the new L E P is completed. Could we dare to hope for a retirement facility for Lennox?
We'd like to wish all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and Santa will be up on his surfboard at the northern entrance to the village in time for Christmas.
Lennox Head Residents' Association November 10
by Margaret Richardson
Remy's report concerning the Alfresco Dining charges throughout the Shire where Alstonville pay $26 per square metre, Ballina $52 and Lennox Head nearly $97 had also come to our attention at our Oct. meeting. We fought for equity in the rating system throughout the Shire and won and we will also fight for equity in these charges. On what basis were these charges determined? Why should it cost more for a coffee or meal in Lennox? Why weren't our 3 Councillors aware of this inequity when it went before Council and do their job by objecting to it then? Another Council decision we disagree with is the plan to rename the road around the Lake Gulgan Road. This has no signifigance when the road has always been Camp Drewe Rd. which aptly describes to where the road leads and we have stated this in a letter to Council.
The status of the Dog Off-lead area on the beach has been returned to the original with the entry point at the old four wheel drive track. Hinged signs will be used on Market days,as the Market is a dog-free area, and this will allow dogs on lead to use the northern entrance on to the beach near the Surf Club.
The Surf Club want all dogs banned from the club grassed and beach areas, which is understandable, but would seriously affect the viability of the Ocean View Cafe where dog owners have been able to take their dogs.
We are supporting Louise Owen in her compromise which would allow dogs on leads in the grassed area to the north of the clubhouse where tables will be available.
If this is acceptable it is up to the patrons of the cafe to make sure that their dogs are on lead and in the designated area as it is imperative that beach goers, surf patrols and Nippers are able to use the club area, entrance ways and beach without fear of dogs.
Mackney Lane and Park Lane should have their upgrades completed by December. In Park Lane there will be no parking on the eastern side which is where 4 street lights will be installed. The latest completion date for the Community Centre, Library and Skate Park is 31st March so here's hoping!
Our Coast Care group have installed another wooden table (pictured) in front of the Seven Mile Cafe and have been asked to make one to go on the beachfront where the tornado crossed with a suitable plaque attached and have agreed wholeheartedly, subject to Council approval, which should be forthcoming.
Lennox Head Residents' Association October 10
by Margaret Richardson
The location of the Rural Fire Station has reached a stalemate so at this stage our Association has decided to leave it in the hands of our local member Don Page and the Captain of the Fire Brigade to liase with the parties concerned but they still have our support in the matter. No answers have been given by Council as to the deplorable conditions in the existing building so we will be persuing this matter should this building be needed for an extended time.
We along with the rest of the community are saddened that there may not be any Carols in the Park for us this year. The Lions Club have turned this into an excellent event for bringing young and old together to celebrate Christmas. The decision of the Council to only sponsor 5 events in the Shire, two of which would be hard to qualify as community events because of corporate sponsorship, is unbelievable, as is the fact that 4 of them received well in excess of the amount that was recommended by Staff.
At our September meeting we pledged to donate $500 towards the Carols in Lennox Head should it be possible for it to go ahead. This year in particular,when so many are still suffering from the effects of the June tornado,a getting together of residents is even more important.
Did I really say in last month's article that the cycleway saga may have been resolved by the time your Wave was delivered? How stupid of me as we are just about back to square one. The plan requested of the Mayor and General Manager was presented at the August Council meeting and was so far removed from previous concepts that the Councillors requested a workshop to explain standards of the routes, costing etc. etc.This was held on Tues. 14th September when Councillors were fully briefed on the proposal which will now go before the September Council meeting. The new plan is for a "cycleway" on the western side of the Coast Road - a proposition not considered before and not connected to any other cycleway at this stage - with a "walking track" along the coastline. The business paper presented some funding which being only a tentative estimate could be wide of the mark.
The Mayor has agreed to attend the September B Ward Committee meeting to try and address the problem as to non attendance of our Ward Councillors at these meetings.
Lennox Head Residents' Association September 10
by Margaret Richardson
The latest on the Flat Rock to Pat Morton Lookout section of the cycleway is that the GeneraL Manager and Mayor are to report on a decision to the August Council meeting and it seems that the consultants' recommendation could be favoured with separate walkways to follow existing tracks which would need upgrading. By the time you read this the decision has hopefully been made as too much money has been spent on consultations with no result so far.
At the July Council meeting it was revealed that another $1.5 million needs to be spent to complete our Lennox Head Community Centre. This has resulted from one and a half pages of problems inherited from the original architect. Reading this list of faults makes one wonder about the processes that go into choosing the best person for designing and overseeing such a costly facility. Surely Council must insure that people with expert knowledge are included in committees when spending millions of the ratepayers money. It is hoped in this instance that some of the additional funds may be recouped through insurance.
Our Association is throwing their support behind the Volunteer Fire Brigade of Lennox Head. These are the people who were first on the scene when the tornado hit, are quickly on the spot whenever there is a house fire and attend to motor accidents and other emergencies and they are being given a very raw deal by Council. As you know their fire shed was moved across to the opposite side of Mackney Lane to make a space for the Community Centre - the shed was just picked up and dumped on the new site with the promise for it to be a tempory site till July 2010. Their conditions are third-world - a dirt floor ( the Firies have put carpet over the dirt in some places), no hand-washing facilities (just a hose) and NO toilet (they were using the public toilets in Ballina Street till they were kindly given a key to the toilet at the back of 9092 Ballina St.)and in the move they lost a mezzanine floor where they had stored their equipment. Council now says that they cannot provide a new facility until 2012 however there is a current approved Development Application for a fenced plot on Byron Bay Road not far from Byron Street. The Fire Brigade consider this the most ideal and favoured position but the problem is that after the D.A had been passed by Council the Aboriginal community made an objection that it was too close to a sacred site. In ordinary circumstances this late objection would not be given any credence and the Fire Brigade have stated that they would respect the Aboriginal significance however Council are not considering use of this site which could have a suitable building erected on it immediately. At our request Don Page is also throwing his support behind the investigation of this matter.
The funding of the toilets at Pat Morton Lookout did not meet the criteria for the grant I mentioned last month so the funds are to be used to put steps up to the top of Lennox Headland however we hope that there is some way the toilets can be built as they are badly needed in such a popular tourist spot.
At the B Ward Committee there were none of our Councillors present which makes the aim of a Ward Committe quite disfunctional. A resolution was passed to seek cooperation of the other 2 Ward Committees to make sure the Councillors are formally advised of deliberations as they are not aware of them if not at the meeting.
Lennox Head Residents' Association August 10
by Margaret Richardson
Well once again the Flat Rock to Pat Morton Lookout cycleway/shared pathway merry-go-round is in operation and once again Council has ignored another consultant's preferred option and their own staff's recommendations. This means another few thousand dollars of ratepayers money wasted and the Councillors have been unable to come up with their preferred option. Jeff Johnson was the only Councillor who made any sense when he rightly stated that one multi-purpose pathway will not be suitable for both the cyclists and the walkers so there must be a compromise - a designated commuter cycleway located close to the existing road reserve and a separate walking track with lookouts, signage and rest points. Sue Meehan on the other hand is adamant that it should be as close to the coast as possible and the Mayor says that you can't please everyone whatever you do. Something important that they all seem unconcerned about is that if the route does not meet the requirements and approval of the Dept. of Planning's Great Eastern Cycleway standards there will be minimal government funding forthcoming so the ratepayers will need to meet the 5 million dollar cost which has not been included in the current Council budget.
A Brownie point for Council has been their stand in endorsing the importance of maintaining control of all Ballina Shire Libraries in the Richmond -Tweed Services assets. Also a date has been set for the opening of our new Library in February 2011 and the new School Hall should be in use shortly.
I would recommend that those interested look at the plans for the low rental affordable housing Development Application in the Greenwood Grove Estate that are currently on display in the Library. It is right that affordable housing is needed in Lennox Head but of concern is that 74 one, two and three bedroom units of single or double storeys are to be constructed in an area where Council rejected 18 building blocks because of open space concerns. Another concern is whether the road infrastructure will be able to cope with the increased traffic. As this development is no longer in Council's hands any comments should be sent to the Dept. of Planning or Ballina Shire Council.
I was very surprised to see so much empty space in the Caravan Park during both Qld. and NSW school holidays. Surely people aren't avoiding Lennox because of the tornado!
Our Coast Care group have spent their last two working bees erecting "wallaby proof" fencing around an area at Boulder Beach for the Lennox Landcare group. It is proposed to revegetate this area on Sunday 1st August for National Tree Day. Many may not know that wallabies are so prevalent at Boulder Beach and that the new seedlings are a wallaby's gourmet's delight.
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 09
by Margaret Richardson
Looking back over 2009 we seem to have been dealing what so many, what we've considered unpopular Council decisions, and, no doubt 2010 will be similar. I don't know if many people appreciate our Association's work in striving to keep the village atmosphere in Lennox Head, which is the reason we all chose to live here, and keeping as well the respect of the Council that we have fostered.Our average age would be about 70 and we are not going to be able to continue for ever which is the reason that we really need younger members so that we can be sure the association continues in good hands for the future. A positive at our last meeting was the attendance of Councillor Sharon Cadwallader who was able to answer many questions which cleared up some misgivings we had concerning what we perceived to be the complacency of our representatives.
Recently a resident, when paying his rate installment, asked that the shadecloth over the children's playground in Ross Park be replaced before the summer heat only to be told that they were waiting for the insurance money from last May's storms to be paid. This is quite ridiculous as I know that other monies have been paid and surely even without the insurance the Council coffers could find funds for such an important cover. We will be following this up!
It is good to see the sand returning to our beach with the help of our Coast care groups' sand accretement fences and that Council have extended at least 3 stormwater outlets so that the dunes will not be battered as badly should such another storm event happen. As an end of year project and with the approval of Council some of our guys are building a wooden table with attatched seating which is to be placed near the Surf Club. The cost of this seat plus installation is only one sixth that of the aluminium seating at present in use. It will also be more comfortable as it will not be as hot to sit on in Summer. The group are hoping that they will be able to make many more seats when Council sees the advantages of saving money.
Lennox Head is really coming-of -age with the construction of both the Community Centre and the school Assembly Hall after waiting so long for a suitable venue for so many activities and meetings that happen in Lennox.
We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Santa will be presiding over the northern entrance to the village by the middle of December riding on his surfboard so look out for him as he has had a facelift.
Our meetings will resume on the first Monday in February at 7PM in the Anglican Church.
Lennox Head Residents' Association November 09
by Margaret Richardson
The launch last month of our Heritage Committee's book "Silent Echoes" on the history of Lennoox Head and North Creek post offices was attended by a capacity crowd with many old residents and descendants travelling from afar to be present. The book was sold out by the end of an afternoon that was filled with many memories being discussed,so that a reprint was necessary.The publication is available at the Post Office. Congratulations to the Committee and the author Dorothy Thompson.
Preliminary plans have been provided to us for the road relocation to Camp Drewe and the Fitness Camp and the Lake Ainsworth Reserve upgrade. Pacific Parade is to terminate in the vicinity of the Surf Club with a turnaround closing the road on the southern side of the lake. Traffic going north will turn left at Ross Street then go through the Caravan Park and onto the existing Camp Drewe Road. There are plans for shared pathways on the eastern and southern side of the lake, a perimeter boardwalk on the western side and several disabled ramps leading into the lake all of which will make the lake more accessible. It would seem that this could become a reality in 2011 and I suggest could incorporate " a permanent market site" that our Mayor feels is needed because of flooding of the lake and traffic congestion at the Surf club neither of which has been a big problem over the last 20 years.
The proposed cycleway/shared pathway debate continues with recent newspaper "Letters to the Editor" from Councillors Susan Meehan and Alan Brown in which I notice the word cycleway is omitted and that it is now just a "shared pathway".Do these two Councillors really believe that a senior on a scooter, mothers and fathers pushing prams and the disabled can negotiate the Council "preferred route" from Boulder Beach to Pat Morton Lookout and down the other side? Maybe when Councillors are making decisions it should be manditory for an on-site inspection to be made as our Shire is so wide-spread that all Councillors cannot be expected to know all areas. We all want a cycleway to Ballina that can be used by the majority of people. Those opposed to Council's "preferred route" are in favour of a route that closely follows the Coast Road but is separated from the traffic. All users including the elderly, handicapped and family groups should be connected to coastal viewing points along the way with offshoot paths or loops from the cycleway making it a universal utility. In a recent letter to our Association from the NSW Department of Planning, who have already supplied grant funds for the consultants, it was advised that unless Council meets their cycleway guidelines no contributing funding will be forthcoming. The estimated cost is now $5.5 million for the Flat Rock to Lennox section and without funding from the department it will have to be funded by us, the ratepayers!
With the construction having commenced of both the Community Centre and the Public School hall Lennox Head is at last coming of age!
Lennox Head Residents' Association October 09
by Margaret Richardson
At our September meeting a representative of the Kings Court Reserve Protection Group addressed us and asked for our support. Kings Court Reserve is the grassed area on the corner of Castle Drive and North Creek Road (opposite Pidcock's house) where Council are considering erecting a reservoir 26 metres in height and 6 metres high to contain 3.4 million litres of recycled sewage water, but not for the use of residents in that area. Council's plan for many years has been to site this reservoir in Pacific Pines as the new subdivision planned for there plus Elevation and Aspects of Lennox are the only ones geared to use this "grey water". Only 4 households out of 60 in Kings Court/ Sandstone Crescent area were notified of this plan. This parcel of land is zoned public reserve for the use of the community so we have sent our protest to Council and also have had this item added to September's B Ward Committee meeting.
Council seem to be completely out of touch with the will of the majority of the community lately. The poll on 2 hour timed parking showed that over 70% were against it however Council went ahead and installed it. As far as the Council "preferred route" for the cycleway from Flat Rock to the Shire boundary was concerned, once again 67% of 183 submissions and 239 of 289 petition signatures were in opposition. The B Ward Committee of 20th July found this route unsatisfactory, the consultants found fault with it and the Council's Coastal Hazard Study stated that nothing should be built on the dunes beside Pacific Pde or on Boulder Beach. However on 2nd September at a Civil meeting Council adopted all their "preferred route" except the beach section in front of Rayner Lane and deferred discussion on the section from the Caravan Park north.Of our B Ward Councillors, neither Jeff Johnson nor Peter Moore were present and Sharon Cadwallader, who voted against it in the B Ward meeting, voted for it. One councillor recently admitted that he had never been on Lennox Head Beach and I wonder how many more are in the same boat. Maybe when important decisions are being made a manditory on site inspection should be made as our Shire is so wide spread that we can't assume that Councillors know the area. We all want a cycleway to Ballina that can be used by the majority of people. Those opposed to the Council "preferred route" are in favour of a route that closely follows the Coast Road but separated from the traffic.
The Market Manager,Joni Teale, was also at our last meeting after the trial market in the main street and was made aware that those present preferred the lakeside site. Of concern was that many businesses had a bad trading day, that the market accessability was fragmented, that constant use of the grassed dune was detrimental and that should a market coincide with Gromfest, All Girls' Surfing Titles or other surfing events in this area, parking and traffic flow would be worse than chaotic. The Mayor in his September Shire notes expressed the need to find a permanent market site because of flooding and traffic congestion at the Surf Club neither of which has been a big problem for the last 20 years.
With plans to close the eastern and southern roads along the lake when the new road is established along Ross Street and through the Caravan Park to Camp Drewe and Sport and Rec. leave our market where it is - a Lakeside Market on either or both the roads to be closed.
On a happier note! Isn't it great to see construction of the Community Centre under way?
Our meetings are held at 7PM on first Monday of the month in the Anglican Church.
Lennox Head Residents' Association September 09
by Margaret Richardson
We have been concerned by the hasty decisions made by Council recently with no public consultation, namely the temporary relocation of 5th Sunday market in August and subsequent markets, if the flooding on the road into the Sport and Recreation complex continues, and the temporary relocation of the existing Rural Fire Station Shed to the grassed area in Park Lane on the right as you enter from Byron Street.Letters were sent expressing our concerns and answers recieved. In both cases it was a matter of expediency that did not allow for community consultation.
In the case of the market, relocation to Ballina Street near the bus shelter and north to the hotel will also serve as a trial opportunity to see if this could become a new permanent site. This has been suggested before by Council and vehemently opposed by our Association as we believe that the charm of our market is its position by the Lake. A survey of businesses and residents in Ballina Street by the Market Manager,
since the Council approval, recieved a level of support but we wonder how there can be adequate parking when Ballina Street is closed from Rutherford St. to Lennox St. There will also be the problem of how Park Lane is going to cope with all the extra traffic as it is to be the detour from 6AM to 3PM. The water has now receded from the usual market site alongside the lake so there should be no need to continue the relocation into September.
The Development Application for the relocation of the Rural Fire Service Shed to a site near Ross Lane was approved by Council. A late objection from part of the Jali Land Council was recieved, which we believe should not have been considered as closing dates for D.A's are always adhered to, however Council decided to investigate it and as the shed had to be moved before work can start on the Community Centre there needed to be a temporary relocation. The site in Park Lane was chosen adding extra unnecessary cost and not a pleasant experience for the adjoining owners and tennants who were notified and discussions held. These people graciously made no objection on the understanding that July 29th 2010 be the expiring date with subsequent removal of the shed to a permanent site.
Last month I wrote about the condition of the Coast Road from Pat Morton Lookout to the roundabout and the fact that it was unlikely to be repaired before 2011/2012 because Council were relying on funding from the RTA which is not available until that date. We have had subsequent advice from the RTA that the NSW Government provides annual funds under the Regional Roads Block Grant to Councils for use on road repairs as they wish. In addition funds from the Federal Financial Assistance Grants and the Roads to Recovery Program could apply to work on this road. We are going urge Council to consider these means to repair the Coast Road or bite the bullet and fund it themselves.
One of our members, Brian Smith, has been responsible for designing and making the Santa Claus cut out that is erected at the Byron St. entrance to the village each Christmas then replaced by a dolphin cut out for the remainder of the year. Our dolphin is looking rather sad so Brian is going to design and make a Humpback Whale to replace it after Christmas this year. Another example of volunteering in the community.
Lennox Head Residents' Association August 09
by Margaret Richardson
We have recieved a reply from Council in regard to our request that something be done to the Coast Road between Pat Morton Lookout and the roundabout and the bad news is that nothing will be done till 2011/2012. I will quote part of the reply "I advise that the Coast Road is able to recieve 50% funding under the RTA repair program. The program is locked in for a 4 year period ending in 2010/2011 so this section of the Coast Road is proposed to be rehabilitated in 2011/2012 at the commencement of the next 4 year RTA program." This is the main entrance to our village and gives visitors and residents a "bone-shaking" welcome at the moment. As 2011 is not really an acceptable time frame Council may need to cover the cost themself or request an earlier grant from the RTA. If you use this road frequently or live beside it you might like to add your support to the request that it be done earlier as we intend doing.
At the moment the road beside the Lake is flooded so the back road to Camp Drewe is the only access to the Sport and Recreation facility and the extra traffic and rain has impacted badly on this gravel road. It could be months before the water goes down so we are asking that some maintenance be carried out to keep it in acceptable condition.
You may not be aware that the Heritage Committee of our Association some years ago put out a Heritage Trail leaflet which takes you on a walk or drive around places of interest in Lennox Head such as the Bora Ring, dry stone walls and the old school house and has been distributed to tourists and locals by the Ballina Tourist Information Centre. The supply of these has been depleted and some of the things on it are no longer relevant so a new one is ready to go to the printers and I will advise you when it is available as many residents would enjoy following the trail to learn some of the history of their village. A new book is also at the publishers about the history of the Post Offices of North Creek and Lennox Head. This would be very worthwhile reading after it is launched in September and will be available locally, probably at the Post Office.
Our Coast Care group have begun replacing the sand accretement fences along the beach which were destroyed in the May cyclonic weather.This small band of "not so young" guys do such a good job while at the same time enjoying the companionship of their mates even happily working "overtime" to finish the task of the day. What would we do without the volunteers of this world? Lloyd Hargrave who died on July 3rd at 89 years of age was one of these not so young men. He was a member of the Association at its inception and attended dune care work whenever his health allowed. This stalwart of the Residents' Association did a lot for Lennox Head and will be sadly missed.
Lennox Head Residents' Association June 09
by Margaret Richardson
The time since writing my last article in mid May has been the most dramatic weatherwise in the 17 years I have lived in Lennox Head. The damage done to our beach seems very dramatic however looking at other beaches in this area we seem to have survived better than most. Our Coast Care group has found that some of the accretement fences for catching and holding sand that they put in 1999 are still under the sand, others are now visible on the edge of the dune, rather than under it as they were, this means we still have several more metres of sand than at that time. Amazingly however the sand has started to come back in again and they are repairing the 1999 fences and starting to build new ones further out to catch the new sand. What a pity the slatted walkways could not have been pulled up in time, especially as some of them had only been down for a short time, so that some of them disappeared into the sea. However Council must be congratulated for storing slats that were found on the beach and repairing what was left then dropping sand at the ends to form safe walkways onto the beach. Council also did a wonderful cleaning up debris on the beach (even the poor drowned cow!) Once again more erosion occurred around the stormwater outlets but our group have met with council staff and the extension to the pipes and rectification of the headwalls will now be carried out more easily as they are so highly visible.
By now submissions have closed for comment on the proposed cycleway from Flat Rock to the Byron Bay border which the Councillors decided should be " as close to the beach as possible".Whatever possessed a group of sane adults to think this was possible and to have the audacity to suggest it was the most cost effective. What a waste of money to pay consultants to come up with a route and then completely ignore their advice. Steep gradients, rainforest areas, swamp land and unstable dunes have been ignored as well as not considering that the end of Ballina's section must end in the place where Byron Bay Shire would be able to join to it. This is a part of the Great Eastern Cycleway from Cairns to Melbourne and should be providing residents and cycling tourist with a safe and practical way into Ballina. Residents would use it to commute to work or school and for the tourists it should have finger-boards advising of places of interest so that they can leave the cyclepath wherever they wish by means of roadways or purpose-built pathways.
Our new Community Centre is at last becoming a reality with ads printed for the sale and removal of the Recreation Hall and Rural Fire Station. It is a shame that the Recreation Hall is to become a casualty to progress. It was built in 1962 for the Tennis Club Committee with locally raised funds and a grant from Tintenbar Shire Council Many people would have fond memories of functions held there however the possibility of moving it is made untenable by the fact that it there are structural problems, it contains asbestos and there is no suitable land to move it to. The new Rural Fire Shed is to be situated near Ross Lane.
Lennox Head Residents' Association May 09
by Margaret Richardson
The Lennox Head meeting for the Council's 2009-2010 Management Plan was held on May 20th and our Association was well represented as usual. We had a few concerns, the main one being that in the planned upgrade of Park Lane, in conjunction with the construction of the Community Centre, there was no provision made for lighting which is an essential for this area and needs to have all the underground work completed before the new road surface is laid. An amount of $940,000 has been allocated for the Caravan Park without any plans being made available as to how such a sum is to be spent and another $560,000 for Lake Ainsworth and once again no plans to hand. We have been told that a parking area is to be constructed south of the Surf Club and a revamp of the Surf Club itself but with no plans it is hard to say whether these are included as part of the lake spending. Money has been allocated for extensions to stormwater pipes along the beach with rubbish collectors attached and our Coast Care committee are in consultation with Council on this project.
Although our General Rates will definitely rise above the accepted 3.5% we have the lowest rates for this area with Byron, Tweed and Lismore all being in excess of ours. Waste Management rate increases have already been made as they do not have to be approved by State Government as General Rates do.
The deplorable state of the Coast Road from Pat Morton Lookout to the roundabout needs urgent attention. This road is in constant use not only by Lennox Head residents but also all traffic between Ballina and Byron Bay. The water seepage coming down from the escarpment is the main problem and needs to be addressed as well as a better road surface. It is a noisy and bumpy ride in a vehicle and must be a constant source of noise to the residents along that stretch. We have written to both Don Page and the Council to address our concerns with the appropriate authority and would urge concerned residents to do likewise as the more complaints the better chance we have of getting some action.
Another beach walkway has been installed and the one at the Surf Club re-done where the wild seas ot the past month or so had undermined it. Once the stormwater pipes have been extended the sand will build up on the dunes again and our beach will be looking great.
It was disappointing that only one of the many people who attended our April meeting with the police in attendance turned up to the May meeting and became a member. Our Association represents all the residents in Lennox Head and we are all getting past our use-by date. It is important that in the future there will still be a Residents' Association because without it there will be no group looking out for the interests of our beautiful seaside village.
Lennox Head Residents' Association April 09
by Margaret Richardson
Our April meeting was so well attended (over 50 present) that we abandoned our general meeting business and dedicated the whole 2 hours to policing matters. Inspector Greg Moore from Ballina and Superintendent Bruce Lyons from Lismore were our two visiting officers and were very happy to listen to questions and comments from the floor after Inspector Moore had brought us up to date on matters relating to Lennox Head. Not everyone got the answers they wanted but that is life and although we all feel that Lennox needs a police presence it is not envisaged that this will happen in the near future. We do not have the population yet to warrant a Police Station and we have to admit that Lennox is not the "crime capital" of the shire. Listening to local news reports in the past month and hearing some of the horrific bashings that have occurred elsewhere we must admit that things in Lennox are not as bad as we who live here may think. A lot of youth problems are being addressed quietly by police not necessarily in uniform and I for one feel that there has been an improvement in this area. A suggestion from police is that once the Community Centre has been built there will be a venue for youth activities to be planned and supervised perhaps on a weekly basis .The new centre is for all the population and it must be administered with this in mind.
The unfortunate incident at Lake Ainsworth on Australia Day this year will not be allowed to happen again and people must realise that it was not the fault of local Lennox Head youth and the newspapers did sensationalise their reports. This is not an excuse for the occurence and on this occasion the police response was in record time and we are assured that next Australia Day more police will be on the ground before any incident begins.
It is disturbing to be made aware that some parents are aiding and abetting their underaged teenagers behaviour by supplying them with alcohol and not being available when those children feel threatened. This is a sad situation and what sort of message does this send to children who know that their parents are deliberately breaking the law and are quite happy to condone what they do as long as they are out of their hair. This is effectively wiping their hands of any parental responsibility and is to be deplored.
The consensus of opinion among the police and residents was that we need more police here during holiday periods and at high risk times especially Friday and Saturday nights. All agreed that police do their best with the resources they have, often working with insufficient numbers because of under staffing and people on leave not being replaced so that most officers have to do their job plus part of someone elses. We too must play our part by reporting all crime no matter how small or supposedly insignificant because without stastics the "powers that be" presume that eveything must be alright.
The terrible weather last month means that our beachfront has suffered more erosion and it is noticeably worse where storm water pipes end in the dune so we are requesting that Council extend them further out to the dune edge to alleviate this problem. The walkway at the boat channel has been completed and has made such a difference getting onto the beach - Council are to be congratulated on all of the eight walkways along our beach. Our Coast Care group have completed and delivered 8 Myna bird traps to Council and have decided to have a break to see what success or otherwise these have been before making any more.
We were saddened recently by the death of Peter Dawson a past Vice-president and a very valuable member of our association. It would be nice to see some of those who attended our last meeting become members on a permanent basis to help make a difference in Lennox Head. We meet on 1st Monday of each month (except Jan.) in the Anglican Church and membership costs $5 per annum.
Lennox Head Residents' Association March 09
by Margaret Richardson
The last word on the picnic table! Surprisingly, after our executive had a meeting with the Mayor and General Manager about matters concerning us and our exasperation that still no plaque had been attached to the table, it miraculously was attached the next day. Saga over!
The fracas at the lake on Australia Day once again highlighted the need for a police presence in our village. Community organisations are concerned, however the Residents Assoc. have been pursuing this problem since December 1982 when we wrote our first letter and could fill a book with all the letters written since then. Back in the 60’s and 70’s a policeman was placed in the Caravan Park over the Christmas school holidays to holiday with his family but still be on duty when needed. This meant that any crimes during this time could be nipped in the bud as a policeman was only minutes away and also acted as a great deterrent to would-be offenders. Of course today in this politically correct age this would not be possible, however it shows that a permanent police presence would produce the same result. Please support us by reporting all crimes, no matter how insignificant, as we need statistics to show the need for a policeman. A call to the local police station on 66818699 or to the Police Assistance Line 131444 is all that is needed.
You have read about the push to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags in Lennox Head (see Ballina Postcards Article) but bags used in the retail trade are not the main cause of danger to the marine environment on our beaches. My husband and I pick up rubbish on our daily beach walk and plastic bait bags and those used for fishing tackle are by far the largest number we pick up. I suspect that many of these have come out of the river and the current carries them north as we find more on occasions when other river rubbish is on the beach. Please if you are a fisher person or know someone who is make them aware that all plastic needs to be kept out of the water and off the beach and please everybody start picking up beach rubbish. I know it is annoying to have to pick up after others but it is one way to shame those who litter.
Dog litter is another thing that should not be left on the sand – please dog owners carry a bag in which to collect your dog’s droppings. It is also about time that some locals start walking their dogs on the designated “dog beach” north of the surf club and not on the southern end where dogs are not allowed. We need to see more of the Ranger in Lennox policing the regulations.
Our Coast Care group have been asked by Council to build traps for Indian Myna birds so are getting together for an extra day each fortnight to do this. These birds, which are becoming more prevalent in our area, drive out all the other birds and need to be eradicated but should not be confused with the common Noisy Myna. Look at the picture and if you see any around your area contact Council for a trap which will come with instructions for its use and what to do with any you catch.
Lennox Head Residents' Association December 08
by Margaret Richardson
I am pleased to report that the long awaited picnic table donated by the association has been erected in Ross Park on the beachfront and we intend christening it with a fish and chips dinner one evening soon. New "state of the art" playground equipment has replaced the old variety in the park also. Ross Park and especially the equipment would be one of the most used in the Shire as many groups with children use it for get togethers and birthday parties. What a brilliant idea to use such an area with good facilities that most backyards do not have and only need to leave the area as you found it. Council workers clean up most days and it is usually in a very acceptable condition.
I wish the report on the D.A. for the Community Centre was as good however, it will not be presented to Council till early next year as there needs to be a noise evaluation done. I would have thought that this would have been done initially as it is obvious that soundproofing will be essential with so many dwellings close by.Some of us older generation are wondering if we will live long enough to use this facility!
A suggestion by Seabird Rescue and Councillor Jeff Johnson that Council investigate a report on restricting the use of plastic bags in the Shire and that Lennox would be a good place for this to be trialed has much merit, but our Association feels that the trial should be shire-wide not just in one area. Because of our proximity to the seafront and our awareness of how harmful these bags are to sea creatures all of us who use the beach could make a conscious effort to pick up any bags seen in the water or on the sand and dispose of them in a garbage rather than hope that the next person who comes by will do so.
Our Coast Care group will be sand bagging the entry points to the Lake to inhibit erosion over the next month as well as erecting the one remaining Santa Claus at the northern entrance to the village before enjoying a break over the holiday season and their return to work in February. It takes some time to complete some of the projects with the small number of workers but you must admit that the improvements to the beach and the lake are quite substantial when you look back on what it used to be. One gripe is the removal of bollards and posts around the lake so that vehicles can be driven closer to the water and the BBQs. These are there to protect sensitive areas and it is not much to expect people to walk the few extra metres. Seven Mile Beach won awards again this year in the Clean Beach Challenge thanks to many hours of voluntary work.
Geolink are to be congratulated on the time they have spent getting community consolation on the preferred options for the cycleway from Rutherford St. to the Byron Bay border. All interested organisations were consulted and a Saturday morning spent outside the newsagency collecting ideas from all who bothered to participate was very popular. This was advertised so anyone who is not satisfied with the final result has only themselves to blame. A meeting of Geolink and one representative of each interested group met on 17th November and no conclusive route was decided upon . Geolink will now consult with Council however the final decision rests with the R.T.A. who are the body financing this project.
A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and please stay safe. Till 2009 goodbye!
Lennox Head Residents' Association November 08
by Margaret Richardson
It is hard to get back to "normal living" after nearly 6 weeks overseas.We had a base at a friend's place in Finchley, a northern suburb of London, where through lots of walking, we got to know most of the district. They have a series of laneways which make interesting walking from A to B in a much quicker and more informative way than following the streets. By reading the local free newspapers (similar to the Advocate and the Wave) we realised that no matter where you are in the world the same problems exist. Hospitals which are inadequate for the growing population, vandalism and associated crime so that parks are locked from sunset to sunrise and roads that just can't take the volume of traffic generated by the population. English drivers are much more tolerant than those in Australia. As most homes do not have garages their cars are parked along both sides of narrow streets and two way traffic is effectively reduced to one way in each direction however everybody politely waits their turn giving way as appropriate. I could imagine the road rage that would be generated in our country. The Government bus and train systems are brilliant and NSW could learn a lot from them.
Last month Fred Goodman wrote my article for me for which I thank him. He reported that the Association had donated and paid for a table with seating to be installed in Ross Park near the beachfront as we try to do what we can for the betterment of our village.Well don't plan to take your picnic or fish and chips there so that you can watch the whales go by because it is still not installed. It has been 9 months since we first discussed this idea with Council and still no result. Maybe by the time of publishing the Wave we may have had a result!
At last Council are taking steps to complete missing links in the Ballina Shire bikeway system and have asked Geolink to come up with routes for one at West Ballina and the Rutherford St. Lennox Head to Byron Bay Shire boundary section. Our Association have been asked by Geolink to have input into the Lennox/Byron Bay route. When many of our streets and lanes were built there was no provision made for a decent footpath much less a cycleway and shared footpath. Hopefully plans can be drawn up quickly so that we can have a satisfactory cycleway way and once the East Ballina to Lennox Head part is resolved people from Lennox can safely cycle into Ballina.
In these very unstable economic times one wonders how housing is going to be affected in our area and whether all the proposed developments will actually eventuate as planned and whether there will be funds for an adequate roading system. There will be uncertain times ahead! We are hopeful that the Development Application for the Community Centre might be on display in November.
After being in England, Ireland, Belgium and France no place was as good as Lennox Head. There certainly is no place like home!