TS Lismore navy cadets on parade at the Ballina Tattoo.
TS Lismore navy cadets on parade at the Ballina Tattoo.

Ballina Navy Cadets get a reprieve from council

THE Ballina Navy Cadets will be offered a new 18-month lease before a definite solution is found.

Ballina Shire Council made the decision at their meeting on Thursday.

TS Lismore Inc, the organisation that runs the Navy cadets in the area, has occupied the council-owned property at 26 Endeavour Close, Ballina, since 1988.

The lease in place is with Unit Committee TS Lismore Inc, a registered not-for-profit incorporated body, a distinct organisation and not part of the Australian Defence Force or Royal Australian Navy.

The current lease expires on Sunday, September 27.

At its July 2020 meeting, council resolved to advise the Australian Navy Cadets of its intention to move to a month-to-month situation, to allow council to receive a report on the use of the land for the benefit of the entire community, such as the SES.

After that, the SES confirmed it is not interested in the building.

Cr Keith Williams supported the idea that other organisation should have access to the building, with the correct protection of the children involved in the navy cadets and any other future groups using the space.

"I don't want to see this sold," he said.

"This is a valuable piece of land performing a useful community function.

"My concern in this entire debate (...) is the use of the site by more people and the limited number of people that are currently using the site, given its value and its utility to the community.

"Here we have a fabulous piece of waterfront land that is been used a couple of times a week, and that's really not good enough in my view."

Council will also undertakes negotiations with the Department of Defence to enter

a commercial lease for the property.

Council's general manager will now commence negotiations with the Department of Defence on a commercial lease.

A further report will be provided to council, prior to or by September 2021, on the progress of the commercial negotiations.