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Ballina News

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

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Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

 

The Ballina Shire Council is pleased to present the Draft Housing Strategy for public review and feedback, aimed at addressing the housing needs within the Ballina Shire over the next two decades. Crafted to anticipate and respond to housing demand, this strategy is a proactive approach to ensuring the availability of suitable housing for residents.

Paula Newman, Council’s Manager Strategic Planning, underscores the significance of this strategy in aligning housing supply with the community’s evolving needs.

“The Draft Ballina Shire Housing Strategy 2024 serves as a blueprint, identifying critical gaps in housing supply and delineating Council’s pivotal role in facilitating and promoting housing options that cater to our diverse populace,” she states.

The strategy delineates 23 actionable items earmarked for implementation over the ensuing 20 years, all aimed at fostering a more inclusive and sustainable housing landscape.

Four overarching principles guide these actions:

  1. Accessibility for Local Workers and Residents: Prioritising housing availability for those who live and work within the community, ensuring equitable access to housing opportunities.
  2. Promotion of Housing Diversity: Advocating for an array of housing sizes and types to accommodate the diverse needs and preferences of residents, fostering inclusivity and choice.
  3. Creation of Walkable Neighbourhoods: Promoting the development of walkable neighbourhoods with proximity to essential amenities such as shops and services, enhancing community connectivity and quality of life.
  4. Enhancement of Housing Resilience: Ensuring new housing developments are resilient to natural disasters and capable of withstanding housing stress, safeguarding the welfare of residents and the integrity of communities.
Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Ballina Shire Council Unveils Draft Housing Strategy for Public Review

Acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the housing system, Ms. Newman underscores the collaborative effort required for meaningful progress. “The housing landscape is intricate, influenced by an interplay of macro-economic policies, technological advancements, and stakeholder dynamics,” she affirms.

“While Council plays a pivotal role, effective resolution necessitates collective action, with landowners, developers, government entities, and community stakeholders each contributing to the solution.”

In the spirit of transparency and community engagement, Council conducted a series of consultation activities, including online surveys and face-to-face workshops, to gather insights and perspectives shaping this Draft Housing Strategy.

The Council invites community members to provide their valuable feedback on the Draft Strategy, underscoring the importance of community participation in shaping the future of housing within the Ballina Shire.

To contribute your insights and ideas, please visit here. Together, let us chart a course towards a more vibrant, inclusive, and resilient housing landscape for all residents of the Ballina Shire.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina News

Greens Unveil Ambitious Plan for Accessible Beaches in Northern Rivers

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Accessible Beaches in Northern Rivers

Greens Unveil Ambitious Plan for Accessible Beaches in Northern Rivers

 

Representatives from the Greens across all levels of government have come together to launch an innovative initiative aimed at financing accessibility upgrades for local beaches.

This initiative comes in response to findings from Accessible Beaches, which indicate that not a single beach in the Northern Rivers region is fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

The plan was officially introduced at Seven Mile Beach, where Joel Taylor, World Para Surfing Champion and 2023 Ballina Shire Citizen of the Year, joined the Greens for the announcement.

Abigail Boyd, NSW Greens spokesperson for Disability Rights and Inclusion, emphasised the urgent need for dedicated funding in the upcoming NSW budget to facilitate accessibility upgrades at beaches state-wide. Ms. Boyd advocated for an allocation of $25 million to assist councils in implementing these vital improvements.

Accompanied by Greens candidate for Richmond, Mandy Nolan, Ballina Shire Councillor Kiri Dicker, and Byron Shire Council candidate Elia Hauge, Ms. Boyd conducted an extensive tour of Northern Rivers beaches to assess accessibility firsthand.

In addition to seeking funding at the state level, the Greens are proactively engaging with local councils. Motions will be proposed in both Ballina and Byron Shire Councils to encourage greater disability access to their respective beaches. Furthermore, Mandy Nolan urged the federal Labor government to contribute funding towards this crucial cause.

Addressing the pressing issue, Abigail Boyd underscored the fundamental right of all individuals to access and enjoy the state’s pristine beaches. She criticized the historical neglect from various levels of government, which has resulted in the exclusion of people with disabilities from experiencing these natural wonders.

Mandy Nolan echoed these sentiments, expressing dismay over the lack of accessibility for older individuals and wheelchair users in the Richmond electorate. She called for proactive leadership and tangible solutions to rectify this longstanding issue.

Kiri Dicker emphasized the importance of universal design principles in creating inclusive public spaces, stressing that beach access should be available to all individuals regardless of their physical abilities.

Elia Hauge highlighted the comprehensive nature of accessible beach infrastructure beyond mere ramps or mats. She underscored the need for accessible parking, safe pathways, permanent beach wheelchairs, and adequate facilities to ensure inclusivity for the entire community.

In conclusion, the Greens reiterated their commitment to working across all levels of government to secure funding and accountability measures necessary to make Northern Rivers beaches fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina News

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

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Thrillfest

New Ballina youth festival – Thrillfest – announced for Youth Week

 

A new youth festival, Thrillfest, will be held in Ballina for the first time during Youth Week, featuring a battle-of-the-bands, skateboarding workshops, and football drills – and free buses will ferry young people to the events.

The Ballina Youth Network is organising Thrillfest, and the not-for-profit organisation Social Futures is part of that network. The festival will be held on April 16, from 11am, at Missingham Park, Ballina with the support of Rotary Ballina, Cherry Street Sports Club, Ballina Shire Council, Hartley’s Fruit Shop and Ballina Buslines.

Social Futures Children Youth and Families Manager, Kiara McBeath said the Thrillfest lineup was a testament to the diverse interests and skills of the region’s young people.

“Thrillfest festivities kick off with the Battle of the Bands, where aspiring musicians will hit the stage to compete for amazing prizes,” Ms McBeath said. “Get ready to cheer for your favourites and witness the birth of the next big thing in music.

“You can also grab a board and join a skateboarding workshop run by Truckstop Skate School. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned skater or just starting, the Truckstop experts will guide you through techniques and tricks that’ll have you owning the pavement in no time.

“And for the sports enthusiasts, join in on our lively footy drills – a chance to show off your skills and maybe even learn a few new ones.

“The day is all about celebrating young people and their immense talents – from music to skateboarding to sport. And of course, it’s all about having fun!”

There will also be interactive games, and a free BBQ lunch.

“In an effort to make Thrillfest accessible to every teen in Ballina, there will be free transport on the day,” Ms McBeath said.

“Every bus network in Ballina is supporting this event by offering free transport to Tamar Street all day long for young people,” Ms McBeath said.

“Join us for an unforgettable day of fun, friendship, and fanciful feats. Ballina’s youth are the heartbeat of our community, and Thrillfest is here to celebrate that energy and creativity.”

National Youth Week, April 11-24, is a week-long celebration of the contribution that young people make to Australia. It is a joint initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. Each year, all over Australia, events are planned and organised to celebrate and recognise the contribution of young people.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Alstonville News

Seniors encouraged to get moving this April Falls Month

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April Falls Month

Seniors encouraged to get moving this April Falls Month

 

Older Australians in Northern New South Wales are being encouraged to get physically active this April, to help build their strength and maintain their independence.

Better Balance for Fall Prevention is the theme of this year’s April Falls Month, an annual event held throughout April supported by the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to encourage older adults to become more active and reduce falls.

Locally, exercise and dance classes for people aged over 50 are underway in Alstonville, Casino, Grafton, Lismore, Tweed Heads, Wardell, Yamba and across the Northern Rivers.

Health Promotion Manager, Elayne Mitchell said staying physically active is the single most important thing we can do to stay independent as we age.

“As we get older, our bodies lose muscle strength and coordination, so the more active we remain, the better chance we have of maintaining our physical function,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Improving strength and balance in our legs allows us to complete regular daily activities more easily, including getting up and down stairs, in and out of cars, negotiating uneven surfaces and reducing the risk of falling.

“Older people benefit from regular tai chi, group exercise programs, gym sessions, community-based falls prevention programs such as Stepping On, or simple exercises at home to improve muscle strength and balance.

“Research has also shown that regular exercise can reduce falls in older people by 23 per cent, but slowly building up high-challenge balance exercises can increase the effects of exercise by up to 40 per cent.”

NNSWLHD is partnering with Rotary Clubs across the District to provide pop-up Falls Prevention Awareness information stalls, where you can find out about falls prevention and healthy ageing.

Locations

  • Friday 5 April, 10am-4pm, Lismore Square, Uralba and Brewster St, Lismore
  • Sunday 7 April, 8am-midday, Iluka-Woombah Community Markets, Middle Street, Woombah
  • Thursday 11 April, 9am-2pm, Alstonville Plaza, 93 Main St, Alstonville
  • Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April, 9am – 3pm, Bunnings, 2 Bruxner Hwy, Lismore
  • Friday 12 April – Sunday 14 April, 9am – 3pm, Bunnings, River Street and Horizon Dr, West Ballina
  • Friday 19 April, 10am-4pm, Lismore Square, Uralba and Brewster St, Lismore

The Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) has collaborated with the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to produce a range of April Falls resources for patients, families, carers and health staff.

Fall Prevention information is also available on the CEC website.

To find local physical activity and healthy lifestyle programs, including fall prevention programs, visit the Active and Healthy exercise directory. Information and advice to support older adults to be more active is also available on the Active and Healthy website. This includes home-based exercise circuits designed for beginners to follow along at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

 

For more seniors news, click here.

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