The New South Wales Government has backflipped on plans to build a Winter Olympic ski-jump training ramp at Lennox Head.
The idea was launched almost a year ago with the support of Olympic gold medallist Lydia Lassila.
But community opposition exploded when the Office of Sport released images showing a 38-metre structure towering above the sand dunes at Lake Ainsworth.
A protest rally planned for today, which attracted hundreds of people, turned into a celebration as local Nationals MLC Ben Franklin announced the decision.
“It’s a good project, it’s a project that will bring jobs to local communities and be good for tourism, but it’s got to be put in an area where the community wants it and it’s very clear that’s not Lennox Head,” he said.
The Green’s member for Ballina, Tamara Smith, welcomed the decision but questioned the timing of the announcement.
“This is a fantastic win for the community,” she said.
“I’m really sick and tired of seeing community groups having to do the job of government.
“They should be doing that detailed consultation with people before they come up with these fabulous ideas.”
For Michelle Shearer, from the Lennox Head Against the Ski Jump Action Group, the announcement came as a relief.
“Just absolutely elated and staggered … pretty blown away really,” she said.
“A win for community spirit, a win for that determined effort of people pulling together in the same direction … and what an incredible result.”
Local State and Federal politicians from the nearby city of Lismore, which was recently devastated by a major flood, have all indicated they would welcome the facility.