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Ballina Shire News

BUDGET 2024: SUPPORTING THE NORTH COAST

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Labor MP Justine Elliot 2024 Budget North Coast
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

BUDGET 2024: SUPPORTING THE NORTH COAST

 

Local Labor MP Justine Elliot has hailed the Albanese Labor Government’s 2024 Budget as a vital source of relief for residents on the North Coast, emphasising its focus on Australian-made solutions for the future.

“This Budget is a lifeline for every Australian and particularly for those in my electorate of Richmond. The people of the North Coast are facing significant challenges, and this Budget steps up to provide immediate assistance when it’s needed most,” Justine remarked.

“It introduces tax cuts for all taxpayers and relief on energy bills for households across our region,” she added.

The Albanese Labor Government’s Budget addresses the cost of living with a range of measures, including:

  • Tax cuts for every Australian taxpayer commencing July 1, benefiting 71,000 individuals in the electorate of Richmond.
  • A $300 energy rebate for each household.
  • Reduction in prices for commonly used medications.
  • A 10% increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance, benefiting 9,375 households in Richmond.
  • Alleviation of approximately $3 billion from student HECS debt, supporting 19,704 individuals with a HELP debt in Richmond.
  • Initiation of home construction projects nationwide, including a $1 billion allocation for housing aiding women, children fleeing domestic violence, and young Australians.
  • Enhancing support for working parents by adding superannuation on top of Paid Parental Leave.
  • Provision of an additional 24,100 Home Care packages to cater to the needs of older Australians.

“This Budget further expands on the cost-of-living measures already implemented by the Government, such as reduced childcare costs, cheaper medicines, and fee-free TAFE,” Justine explained.

“It aligns with our government’s two-year focus on addressing cost-of-living pressures while ensuring a sustainable future for Australia.

“We’re investing in an Australian future, emphasising clean energy and new technology as transformative opportunities. By investing in energy and skills, we’re paving the way for more employment opportunities and fair wages on the North Coast.

“Crucially, the relief provided in this Budget doesn’t add to inflationary pressures, showcasing our commitment to easing the burden on Australians.

“This Budget aims to train more skilled workers, construct more homes, expand bulk billing, and provide greater access to TAFE or university education,” Justine concluded.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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Ballina Shire Council to speed up flood-resilient housing plans with new funding

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Ballina Shire Housing
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Ballina Shire Council to speed up flood-resilient housing plans with new funding

 

By Sarah Waters

Ballina Shire Council has been allocated $210,000 from the NSW Government’s $100 million Resilient Lands Program (RLP) to help bolster housing options in the Shire.

Last Friday, Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, Member for Ballina Tamara Smith and Acting CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Mal Lanyon made the announcement.

The funding will be used to help Ballina Shire Council fast-track the planning and design of housing on council-owned land at Hutley Drive, Lennox Head.

It will also be used to ‘unlock housing capacity’ in the Ballina CBD, including using shop tops as housing.

Ballina Mayor Sharon Cadwallader said the boost would help council address some of the housing needs that have existed in Ballina prior to the floods.

“Council can now get on with the important job of planning for this site on Hutley Drive in Lennox Head and explore options in the CBD for medium-density housing,” Ms Cadwallader said.

The Ballina Shire Housing Strategy prioritises providing residences for local workers within the community.

Member for Ballina Tamara Smith said she hoped that any council land that comes under the Resilient Lands Program has a significant portion dedicated to either social or affordable housing.

“We need genuine affordable housing for residents in our community, not expensive housing stock that is of more interest to property investors,” Ms Smith said.

The announcement marked the fifth round of funding under the Resilient Lands Program, which is fully financed by the NSW Government.

Ballina is the fourth flood-impacted council to be assisted with funding under the program.

Previous allocations have supported housing projects in East Lismore, Mount Pleasant Estate in Goonellabah, Saddle Road in Brunswick Heads and Summerland Estate in Casino.

The Resilient Lands Program was established to unlock land and provide safer places for people to live across the Northern Rivers following the 2022 floods.

The program includes a variety of new home and land options and provide pathways for flood-impacted homeowners to relocate to safer areas.

The Resilient Lands Program links in with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program (RHP).

Participants of the RHP, who have accepted a buyback offer from the government, are typically given the first opportunity to purchase new land and homes before they’re offered to the open market.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully emphasised the program’s role in advancing the development of flood-resilient housing solutions, particularly in flood-prone areas like Ballina.

“This will really accelerate the delivery of flood-resilient land and housing options for people to move off the flood plain.

“In Ballina it will help deliver a greater range of higher density housing options in the CBD and at Lennox Head and potentially add to the social housing stock as well.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said flood-affected communities across the Northern Rivers region had been waiting for safer land and housing options to be identified.

“I’m pleased to see another LGA added to the councils receiving support under the Resilient Lands Program.

“The Community Leaders Forum (seven mayors and six state and federal MPs) early on adopted the principle of equity in recovery for the entire region affected by the 2022 floods.”

Acting CEO of the Reconstruction Authority Mal Lanyon said the RLP would offer families affordable housing options while assisting councils in infrastructure planning for major housing developments.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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July Exhibitions Celebrating community, culture, and the environment.

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NRCG July Exhibitions
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

July Exhibitions Celebrating community, culture, and the environment

 

Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) presents four new exhibitions this July. The 13th Annual Grace Cruice Memorial exhibition by BACCI (Ballina Arts & Crafts Centre) will be on alongside the 2023 SCU Graduate Award and two exhibitions that celebrate and show concerns for our local flora and fauna. Gallery Coordinator, Imbi Davidson, said “This July we are very excited to be presenting exhibitions that showcase our continued relationships between Southern Cross University (SCU) and the Ballina Arts & Crafts Centre Inc. (BACCI), giving emerging and local artists the opportunity to exhibit in a professional gallery. The enduring creative call of our local environments will also be highlighted in two exhibitions that serve as a celebration and call to action.”

Scribbly Gums and Landforms | Dianne Ingram Dianne uses mixed media to describe and translate her love of Australian gum trees and bushlands. Often working plein-air and employing her distinctive mark-making techniques to create abstractions of the landscape. Dianne imbues her work with ambiguity and unconventional juxtapositions that invite the viewer to create their own interpretations and experiences of our shared environment.

Brainstorm | Thomas Hannah (2023 SCU Graduate Award) The recipient of the 2023 SCU Graduate Award, Thomas Hannah’s Brainstorm details his time spent within the medical system after a diagnosis of epilepsy. This work explores the physical and mental effects of health issues with poignancy and humour, highlighting shared experiences between the artist and viewers.

Fallen | Jenny Kitchener Working with printmaking, Jenny Kitchener presents a glimpse into what the future may hold for five Northern Rivers endangered or vulnerable animals. The focus is on five threatened local animals, selected from five major animal groups: the koala (marsupial); the jabiru (bird); Stephen’s banded snake (reptile); the green and golden bell frog (amphibian) and the birdwing butterfly (insect).

13th Annual Grace Cruice Memorial Exhibition | BACCI Presented by the members of the Ballina Arts & Crafts Centre Inc. (BACCI), this exhibition is a tribute to founding member Grace Cruice, showcasing works created by BACCI members over the past year. BACCI is celebrating 26 years of continued activity and continues to promote a friendly meeting place for artists and craft people from Ballina and surrounding districts.

All NRCG July exhibitions open Wednesday 26 June and continue until Sunday 18 August. The official exhibition launch will be held 5.30 – 7.30pm, Thursday 27 June.

The Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) is located at 44 Cherry Street Ballina and is open Wednesday to Friday from 9am until 3pm and weekends from 9.30am until 1.00pm. For further information contact the Gallery on 02 6681 0530 or visit the website.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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BALLINA COUNCIL TO ENCOURAGE TINY HOME LIVING

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Tiny Homes Ballina
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

BALLINA COUNCIL TO ENCOURAGE TINY HOME LIVING

 

Last week Ballina Shire Council adopted its Future Housing Strategy, with a new action (#17) to “encourage tiny homes in appropriate areas”. This action came about due to advocacy from Greens’ Councillors and because of increased interest from the public for more diverse and affordable housing options.

Tiny homes, when located on land other than land in caravan park or camping ground, are considered as “moveable dwellings” under NSW state planning legislation. Other type of moveable dwellings includes tents, caravans, vans and manufactured homes. Tiny homes commonly fall into two categories: Tiny Houses on Wheels (i.e. a custom-made trailer base), or Tiny Homes on Skids (a fixed, relocatable pallet-like structure).

While some exemptions from development approval currently apply to Tiny Homes, they are limited to short-term stays or long-term occupancy by household members of tiny house dwellings connected to the primary residence. Other exemptions apply to seasonal work use and for individuals displaced because of a natural disaster.

Tiny Homes Ballina

Photo by Häuslein Tiny Homes

Currently, to live permanently in a Tiny Home in NSW, a person must seek development approval from their local Council, which can be complicated and costly. Several councils are initiating pilot programs that enable people to permanently reside in Tiny Homes on private land without planning approval, subject to certain conditions.

Under its new Housing Strategy, Ballina Council will seek to learn from the outcomes of these pilot programs and review its own planning controls relating to Tiny Homes, with a view to enable permanent living in appropriate circumstances. They will also produce education materials to support those interest in tiny home living to navigate existing planning pathways.

Quotes attributable to Cr Kiri Dicker

“Enabling permanent living in tiny homes was one of the ideas that was discussed at a public seminar on hosted on affordable housing that I organised in Lennox Head in August 2023, so it’s great to see this idea formally adopted into Council’s Housing Strategy.”.

“We can’t afford to wait years for the supply of new housing to eventuate. Making it easier to live in tiny homes in appropriate circumstances is one way we can unlock instant supply of affordable housing for people on low and very low incomes”.

 

For more local Ballina news, click here.

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