Future brighter for Florrie
By MARY MANN
THE REMAINS of one of Ballina's historic riverboats, the MV Florrie, are to be preserved.
In an unexpected move, Ballina Shire Council councillors this week voted to go ahead with the vessel's preservation work and increase the budget for the work by $53,000.
The revised total council commitment to the project of $83,000 for 2005/06 will come from general revenue.
Lennox Head historian Marelle Lee didn't know if she wanted to laugh or cry when she heard the new fate of the historic riverboat.
"It was a great relief," she said.
"It's of national historical importance and has a high sentimental value for people in this area."
The long-sought relocation of the hulk of the MV Florrie, from the Richmond River bank at Ballina, was likely to be abandoned, according to Ms Lee, who had been fighting to get the Florrie moved to the maritime museum.
Ms Lee said she hoped the Florrie could be now preserved for future generations to admire.
"It is the lone survivor of the fleet of boats that came to the Richmond River in the 1880s," she said.
"Not preserving it is just neglecting an important part of our heritage."
Ms Lee said salvaging only a section of the Florrie was not good enough.