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Ballina News




The Northern Rivers own newspaper


From today eligible sole traders, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses in NSW will be able to access up to $2,000 in relief to help them bounce back and get the economy firing again.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increased and expanded grant would provide businesses with additional relief as part of the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

“From today, the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will increase from $1,500 to $2,000 and will now include road user tolls for business usage,” Mr Kean said.

“The rebate can be claimed against eligible NSW and local Government fees and charges that are required to run a business such as food authority licences, liquor licences, event fees and council rates.

“It’s been a tough year for sole traders and small operators and this is one more way the NSW Government is helping to keep businesses in business.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said 70,000 businesses had already lodged a claim under the initial scheme, saving more than $82 million since it was launched on 1 April 2021.

“The expanded Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will be available to small businesses across the State, from your local electrician paying for their trade licence to the café on the corner setting up outdoor seating,” Mr Tudehope said.

“The expansion to cover road tolls paid since 1 March 2021 will be especially helpful to those businesses who spend a lot of time in the car, truck or van.

“Toll relief of up to $2,000 will have a significant impact on the bottom line for a small business.”

Business owners can apply for the rebate by logging into their Business Profile via the MyService NSW Account.

Once approved, businesses will be provided with a $2,000 digital voucher in their Business Profile which applicants can draw down on to offset the cost of Government expenses.

Simply lodge your proof of payment and the money will be refunded back into your bank account.

Small businesses which have already registered for the previous $1,500 Small Business Rebate program will not be required to re-register. Those businesses will receive an automatic $500 top-up to the digital voucher. New applicants will receive one $2,000 digital voucher.

Applications for the rebate from new businesses will open today. These businesses can submit claims as soon as their application has been approved.

For more information on how to apply, visit

2022 Floods

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel




NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Severe Weather Conditions in Ballina Shire – Avoid Unnecessary Travel




The Lennox Head Cultural Centre is open today as an evacuation centre for anyone seeking shelter from the severe weather and flash flooding.


Please only travel to the centre if it is safe to do so. If you are currently safe in your home, it is still the best option to stay where you are and stay off the roads if possible.


For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500.



Residents are strongly urged to avoid travel today.


The Pacific Highway is closed from Wardell to Tintenbar, between Coolgardie Road and Tamarind Drive. This means the Cumbalum Interchange remains closed as well as the Interchange at West Ballina. River Street in West Ballina is also currently closed due to floodwaters.


The Burns Point Ferry remains CLOSED until further notice.


Due to access and safety restrictions Ballina Shire Council staff cannot inspect and signpost all urban roads. As soon as it is safe to do so our crews will complete inspections and Council will post updates to Please be aware of changing conditions in your local area.



Anyone needing to collect sandbags should lodge a request with SES by calling 132 500.



The Recovery Centre at the Ballina Surf Club remains closed today due to the severe weather. The Recovery Centre will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Flood-impacted residents can still access support by calling the Service NSW hotline on 13 77 88.


Minimise water use

If you hear your toilet gurgling, it is expected during the extreme weather we are currently experiencing.

The current high rainfall and tidal impacts are putting extreme pressure on our pump stations and wastewater network.

Council crews are doing all they can to clear the excess backlog but they’re up against it in the current conditions.

To assist us please minimise your water use such as bathing/showering, washing and toilet flushing.

If residents experience problems with sewage entering their home please contact Council on 1300 864 444.


Bin collection

Council’s Resource Recovery Team will be unable to complete collections today, Wednesday 30 March due to flooding.

Missed collections are expected to be rescheduled for Saturday 2 April 2022. Where safe to do so, residents can leave their bins out for recollection.


Missing bins
If you are in need of a bin replacement, please log a request via the Community Portal on or call 1300 864 444 for our team to log your request.


Waste Management Centre Closed

The Waste Management Centre on Southern Cross Drive is closed today due to staff not being able to access the site. It will reopen tomorrow if it is safe to do so.


Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Commercial flights have been cancelled today and access roads are flooded. Passengers should not to travel to the airport today and should contact their airline directly for flight information.

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Ballina News







Fascinating design of the Kia Sportage GT-Line makes it more than a people mover.


Kia Sportage is almost an ‘oldtimer’ in this day and age, having been around since 1993. It’s undergone quite a few upgrades and changes in almost 30 years on the market.
The fifth generation is built on a new architecture and has fascinating styling. It’s no longer aimed at buyers who simply want to move people, it’s designed to be stylish and even slightly upmarket in people’s minds.

The classic Kia Tiger Nose grille and boomerang-shaped daytime running lamps make a real styling statement. At the rear it has a what you could call a swooping fastback design.
The fifth-generation Sportage has boomerang-shaped LEDs, razor rear lamps and a swooping curved roof that gives it a look that almost leans in the direction of a coupe. The Snow While Pearl on our test car tied in beautifully with the large black sunroof and the black wheels.
The dual aero spoilers, one above the rear window the other below add to the looks sporting looks.
The bold arrow-like shape of the daytime running lights certainly says they are there for more than providing visibility for other road users.




Can’t say the black-on-black interior is to our tastes, but it’s the trendy thing these days so it will help to sell more Sportages.
The latest Sportage has a wheelbase of 2755mm, a length of 4660mm, width of 1865mm and height of 1660mm. There’s 1050mm legroom for second-row passengers and 1000mm headroom. This is noticeably better than the outgoing model. This means someone of my size and build can get comfortable in the rear without having to ask the driver to share space with me.
Three abreast in the rear seat is pretty good in this latest generation if the occupants are of normal width, if one or more are on the tubby side it does get less comfortable. The centre tunnel is low and doesn’t force the person in the centre seat to sit with their feet beside it.


Inside there’s a curved 12.3-inch digital cluster, and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen in the GT-Line we tested. It’s easy to see at a quick glance, thus minimising the time the driver takes their eyes off the road.
The sound system is by harman/kardon and could be easily adjusted to produce the sort of outputs we like.

Power from the Sportage comes from a variety of engines; a 2.0-litre petrol (115kW / 192Nm), 1.6-litre turbo-petrol (132kW / 265Nm) and 2.0-litre diesel (137kW / 416Nm).
The 1.6-litre is exclusively available on the GT-Line and SX+ variants and is paired with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It sends power to both the front and rear wheels for improved performance and handling, particularly in low grip situations.
Our test car is a Sportage GT-Line with the 1.6-litre petrol and premium paint and has a driveway pricing of $51,990.

Kia’s Advanced Driver Assistance System technology helps the Sportage to avoid potential hazards.
The Intelligent Speed Limit Assist system available on the all-new Sportage detects speed signs through the front view camera. Information is then displayed on the instrument cluster.
The optimised speed can then be used to set the Speed Limiter or Smart Cruise Control by confirming the speed limit. Can’t say we are keen on this as drivers know the correct speed for the road conditions, which may be below or above the posted speeds. So, we don’t want our car lagging behind others on the road or charging up behind them.
On motorways this can lead to others coming up behind us having to change lanes, then get back into the correct lane in front of us.




Kia Sportage has been the subject of Kia Australia’s Local Ride and Handling Program, the Sportage is designed to cater to Australian roads and the style of driving Australians prefer.
Kia Australia’s Ride and Handling Engineer, Graeme Gambold, said: “While it’s been a challenge due to Covid complications and taken a little longer than usual, NQ5 is sporty, youthful, fun to drive, yet comfortable and capable of soaking up even the harshest of road conditions”.
It’s no sports machine but comes closer than we anticipated in the way it turns in promptly and is happy to change direction if the road tightens or loosens.
Debuting in the Sportage GT-Line is a 3D surround view monitor which optimises images from four cameras (front, side mirrors and rear) to provide a 360-degree view in various modes. It allows the user to easily zoom and drag the camera view to suit their needs. This is particularly useful when squeezing backwards into a tight spot in a carpark, especially an underground one with poor lighting.

Kia’s latest Sportage is a solid reworking of the models before it and it looks certain to continue the sales successes of its four ancestors.


S 2.0-litre petrol: $34,690 (six-speed manual), $35,690 (six-speed automatic)
S 2.0-litre turbo-diesel: $42,690 (eight-speed automatic)
SX 2.0-litre petrol: $37,490 (six-speed manual), $38,490 (six-speed automatic)
SX 2.0-litre turbo-diesel: $45,490 (eight-speed automatic)
SX+ 2.0-litre petrol: $44,490 (six-speed automatic)
SX+ 2.0-litre turbo-diesel: $49,990 (eight-speed automatic)
SX+ 1.6-litre turbo-petrol: $46,990 (seven-speed DCT automatic)
GT-Line 1.6-litre turbo-petrol: $51,990 (seven-speed DCT automatic)
GT-Line 2.0-litre turbo-diesel: $54,990 (eight-speed automatic)
Note: These are driveaway prices and include all government and dealer delivery charges.
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Kia dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Kia Sportage GT-Line 1.6-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)

Capacity: 1.598 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 132 kW @ 5500 rpm
Maximum Torque: 265 Nm @ 1500 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.2 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 164 g/km

DRIVELINE: Seven-speed dual clutch automatic

Length: 4660 mm
Wheelbase: 2755 mm
Width: 1865 mm
Height: 1680 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1643 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 54 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Seven years / unlimited kilometres

Looks: 9/10
Performance: 6/10
Safety: 7/10
Thirst: 6/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7/10
Tech: 8/10
Value: 7/10

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Ballina News

Expand your knowledge of the local tourism industry




Volunteer Ambassadors at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport

Expand your knowledge of the local tourism industry

Expand your knowledge of the local tourism industry, meet like minded people, and share your love of the local area.
The Ballina Visitor Information Centre is seeking enthusiastic and customer service focused people to join our friendly team of volunteers working out of the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport and the Ballina Visitor Information Centre.
Volunteers meet and greet visitors arriving to the region while promoting local attractions, tours, activities and events. Volunteers help inspire visitors to spend more time in the region, while making lifelong memories.

Volunteers are asked to commit 4 – 12 hours a week, working in both the Visitor Information Centre and the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. Each shift is up to 4 hours and include both weekend and weekdays.
Vivienne Jagelman has been a part of the program for a year and expresses why she continues to enjoy her position as volunteer tourism ambassador; “I enjoy my volunteer position at the Ballina Visitor Centre and The Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. I feel part of a very professional and friendly team. The opportunity to meet other friendly and like-minded volunteers has been a lot of fun. I have learnt so much about my local area and feel proud to promote it”.
If you are interested in volunteering please visit our website to find the full position description and application form . Application forms can also be collected from the Ballina Visitor Centre at 6 River Street, Ballina.

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