Plans could be lodged by next year

The Northern Star - - FRONT PAGE - Clau­dia Jam­bor clau­dia.jam­bor@north­ern­

A PLAN to build an ocean pool in Bal­lina could be sub­mit­ted to the coun­cil by early next year, coun­cil­lor Jeff John­son has re­vealed.

Cr John­ston said the ocean pool com­mit­tee had been “bring­ing to­gether all the el­e­ments” to lodge a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion in late Fe­bru­ary or early March next year.

In par­tic­u­lar, the com­mit­tee at this week’s monthly meet­ing con­firmed its pre­ferred con­trac­tor to de­sign and en­gi­neer the pool at Shelly Beach in a brief to rel­e­vant coun­cil staff.

A draft en­vi­ron­men­tal re­port per­tain­ing to site stud­ies con­ducted in July by South­ern Cross Univer­sity’s ma­rine ecol­ogy de­part­ment was also sub­mit­ted to coun­cil staff for as­sess­ment.

Cr John­son said the com­mit­tee’s pre­ferred con­trac­tor, who can­not be named at this stage, and its cre­den­tials could put the project in “a strong po­si­tion” to at­tract state fund­ing.

Coastal ge­o­mor­phol­o­gist, Robert Bran­der from the Univer­sity of NSW threw his sup­port be­hind the project af­ter his stud­ies last year con­firmed the rock shelf at Shelly Beach would be the “ideal lo­ca­tion “for the ocean pool.

Mr Bran­der vis­ited the site af­ter be­ing in­vited by com­mit­tee chair­man John Wise ear­lier this year to re­search po­ten­tial en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of the de­vel­op­ment.

Cr John­son said the com­ple­tion of traf­fic man­age­ment re­ports would form one of the next steps the six-per­son com­mit­tee and oth­ers would un­der­take in fi­nal­is­ing the pool de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion.

It has been a three-year process, bring­ing the ocean pool to fruition, with coun­cil sup­port for the project first sought in 2014.

Mayor David Wright was also in at­ten­dance at the re­cent coun­cil meet­ing dis­cussing the is­sue.


ON THE ROCKS: Bal­lina's Jack Tre­van vis­ited the ocean pool at Ber­magui which is built on a rock plat­form, sim­i­lar to the plat­form at Black Head at the north­ern end of Bal­lina's Shelly Beach.

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