Rally on today to save the eastern foreshore road at Lake Ainsworth.
Rally on today to save the eastern foreshore road at Lake Ainsworth. Samantha Poate

Lake Ainsworth road closure protest today

LACK of parking and public access are the two main concerns of locals and tourists regarding the road closure at Lake Ainsworth.

The Northern Star visited the popular swimming spot yesterday to ask people what they thought of the Ballina Shire Council's move to shut the eastern foreshore road, ahead of the rally this weekend.

Young Bangalow boy Tennyson Wheeler said he was conflicted in his decision because he could see the benefits to both sides.

 

"I do like the Lake the way it is, but if it is going to be kid friendly or something I think it could be a good idea," he said.

His father, Charles Wheeler said it would be a nicer environment with less cars.

"But at the same time it would be a pain in the butt to have walk everything in rather than driving in like we do right now," Mr Wheeler said.

Bonnie Alcorn, who has been coming to the Tea Tree Lake for 35 years, said it is a public space and should remain that way.

"If you close it, it becomes more of a private situation and then there would be more of a car problem for Lennox," Ms Alcorn said.

"They have already taken over the last part, it used to be quite open down there, we use to be able to go down there and have BBQ's."

She said she couldn't see a solution for the parking issue if Council was to close the road.

"Where will you put the cars? Does the caravan park take them on? Does the little town take them on?"

Two Lennox Head locals said council should be listening to the community because they combined have not met one single person pro road closure.

One said the heritage aspect of the Lake also had her pretty adamant on keeping the Lake exactly how it is.

"It is a women's birthing lake so for the Bundjalung people here it would impact them a lot harsher, just for a point of recreation," she said.

Sharlene Hewton of Brisbane has been coming to the Ballina Shire in the Christmas holidays for 5 years now and said it would be a shame to close off such a significant road.

"It would just make it hard to bring all your kayaks, paddle boards and the kids and your bags," Mrs Hewton said.

"I don't know if we would come as frequently as we do now if they blocked access."

The Preserving Lake Ainsworth Inc. will be down at the lake today from 10am to rally, acquire signatures and talk about ways to prevent the closure going ahead.

"Rain, hail or shine we will be there," President of the action group Pip Carter said.

"We will have letters for people to sign, we will have a number of people speaking and we will have a welcome to country by the aboriginal community."

Currently the group has 3100 signatures and counting.

On the other side of the beach, closer to town, the Lake Ainsworth Interest Group will also be talking to people about the benefits of the development.

"When we heard there was going to be a rally for this Saturday, we thought it would be only reasonable for the community that we find a different location for that day," spokeswoman Shaun Eastment said.

"We will be on the dunes in town, there is an area there where a lot of local families go to avoid the lake in peak season."

Ms Eastment said she hopes people will make their decision based on factual information.

"I think this is going to become a highly personal decision, is it more important for me to be able to park there or is it more important to have a park land there where we can relax," Ms Eastment said.

"If at the end Lennox vote for what we don't want well then that's democracy in action."

"We will be sad, but at least we will think that is a fair cope as long as it is based on accurate information."


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