News

Bah, humbug: Westpac forced to pull pin on Xmas lights

FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Trinity Drive Christmas Lights at Val Stuckey’s house.
FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Trinity Drive Christmas Lights at Val Stuckey’s house. DOUG EATON

IT'S not quite the Grinch who stole Christmas, but Trinity Drive's annual Christmas light show will no longer be fundraising for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Residents of Goonellabah's most festive street have all received a letter from the helicopter service informing them of a review of the event from a "risk management perspective", and their decision to discontinue their association.

The Trinity lights have been running for 19 years and have raised $165,000 for the helicopter service.

And it seems that it's a case of the success and popularity of the event that could be its downfall.

Helicopter crew chief Roger Fry said the decision was based on the level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the one-way street which caused major congestion, and which would make it incredibly difficult for an emergency service vehicle to gain access if one was needed.

"We have deemed that the risk to reputation and the safety risk (to residents and visitors) with the emergency vehicle access was too high to continue to run the event," Mr Fry said.

He said it was something that had been a concern for some time but there was no way he could see to mitigate the risks.

The Northern Star spoke to several residents of Trinity Drive, but nobody had talked to their neighbours about the future of the yuletide lights.

Val Stuckey was one of the founders of the events and regularly has one of the most impressive light displays on her house.

She said she would love to keep it going.

"I have always enjoyed it and a lot of people put in a lot of work," she said.

Mrs Stuckey said it was a shame the helicopter service would no longer be involved, because it had been a good association between them and the residents.

She estimated visitors donated about $11,000 to $12,000 at the lights each year.

Another founder, Kay McGrath, said the helicopter was a great cause and that's why everybody did it.

She also hoped it would continue.

Topics:  christmas lights editors picks westpac



Wollongbar woman steps up to serve her country

FUTURE LEADER: Tegan Henry with her family at the Royal Military College Duntroon appointment ceremony.

Future army leader takes her first step to Duntroon

What's next for Lismore Base upgrade?

NSW Premier Mike Baird in front of Lismore Base Hospital.

Stage 3b of multi-million-dollar upgrade takes shape

Ballina koalas faced with extinction

Ballina's koalas are under threat.

About 36,000 koalas left in NSW face an uncertain future

Local Partners

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

Cat Empire goes prowling down memory lane

FUN: Australian band, The Cat Empire. Photo contributed.

During a tour next month with Xavier Rudd.

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Gig Guide: the entertainment you need to know about

ON STAGE: Minnie Marks plays the Lennox Hotel, on Saturday at 9.30pm and The Rails, Byron Bay, on Sunday at 7pm.

This week's music, theatre, performance and more

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

LAND VALUES: Figures reveal how much your property is worth

Land values in Ballina have increased over the past 12 months.

Property in one Northern Rivers town has increased by almost 14%

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!