News

Nimbin community spaces remembered as fire ruins cleared

CLOSURE: Crews begin the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen St, Nimbin.
CLOSURE: Crews begin the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen St, Nimbin. Cathy Adams

FOR some it was closure on an unlucky chapter in Nimbin's history, for others it was just sad.

Yesterday mounds of charred corrugated iron and burnt detritus was unceremoniously collected by an excavator's claw and loaded into a pickup on the asbestos-contaminated site of last month's fire.

The two-day operation, expected to wrap up today, attracted a few spectators peering over the safety fences wanting to take a last glance at the devastation.

Two men clad in asbestos protection suits and masks eventually helped line the dump truck with plastic and off it went.

The truck was headed three hours north for the Ipswich asbestos dump, a massive ex-coal mine.

The loss of the Rainbow Cafe and the adjacent Aquarius museum has been felt hard in the community.

Crews began the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen Street, Nimbin.
Crews began the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen Street, Nimbin. Cathy Adams

They were key meeting places for the people of Nimbin and many were "feeling lost", according to local Kaye Wood.

"Some of us have lost our spot," Ms Wood said.

"The museum was always about community space; so was the Rainbow, and the big tables in the land between them.

"It was the big communal gathering area."

Crews began the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen Street, Nimbin.
Crews began the demolition of the businesses destroyed by fire in Cullen Street, Nimbin. Hamish Broome

Michael Balderstone said yesterday's clean-up operation felt like "closure", and people were looking forward to the fences being removed.

"It's a bit haunting looking at it all," he said.

He recalled how "dozens" of wanderers used the shower in the museum when they were couch-surfing or homeless. "We're really missing the whole centre of town closed up, so the sooner it's opened up the better."

He said he managed to salvage a ute-load of souvenirs including several carved totem poles and some old steel pioneers' farming tools.

Topics:  nimbin fire




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

'I apologise every day that I am not the person he married'

My battle with postnatal depression...

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

9 things to change on the Northern Rivers on July 1

Electricity bills will increase from July 1.

Prices going up, changes to family benefits, and new laws

Safer to have baby at home: Father gives evidence at inquest

An inquest into the home birth death of a baby at Nimbin is continuing in Lismore.

UPDATE: Couple delayed ultrasound for three months

Chasing down a wicked wowser with a personalised van

The hosts of The Chaser give Sen David Leyonhjelm some of his own medicine

Senator David Leyonhjelm gets own Wicked camper

Latest deals and offers

Preview of $10 million Lismore office block

Bennett Construction director Darryl Piper discusses work on the new four-storey...

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Working mums vs full time mums

Hey Mumma - Working mums vs fulltime mums

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?