Locals Flip Out Over Olympic Ski Jump at Lennox Head's Lake Ainsworth

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The New South Wales Office of Sport has backflipped on the scale of an artist’s impression of a snowless Olympic ski jump proposed for Lennox Head’s Lake Ainsworth.

It said the images showed to the public, which has drawn outrage, exaggerated the size of the training ramp and more accurate imagery should be available next week.

The project has been on the drawing board since the middle of last year, but it was not until the weekend that residents got a look at an artist’s impression of what the 35-metre ramp would look like.

The images shown at a community consultation session quickly found their way onto social media and led to the launch of an online petition opposing the project.

“Everyone was shocked,” Michelle Shearer, who began the petition, said.

“I mean it’s one thing hearing about a 35-36 metre tower, it’s another thing to just see it looming out of a pristine, beautifully preserved coastline. It really is monstrous.

“Pretty much 99 per cent of people are united and agree that this doesn’t belong in Lennox Head.

“I think everyone is fired up for a big fight on this one.”

Ballina Shire Mayor David Wright said there was some support for the project despite the aesthetic concerns.

“They’ve brought the tower down so it’s about the same level as the tallest Norfolk pine,” he said.

“If you’re at the lake [Ainsworth] you won’t see it, if you’re close you won’t see it because of the bushland.

“If you’re up on the headland you will definitely see it.

“Nobody can say it is pretty but you’ve got to look at the economic benefits for tourism and business in the shire.”

Local Greens MP Tamara Smith said community concerns should not be ignored.

“Council needs to be listening to the community on this and weighing it up,” she said.

“Is there really an economic benefit for us?

“And does that outweigh residents and the fact that people actually come to our region for the beautiful coastline?”

The NSW Office of Sport has since issued a statement saying the images on display were larger than the proposed size, which may have caused unnecessary concern, and community consultation will continue.

Source: ABC News

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