Old spiral staircase gone heaven knows where
By RENEE REDMOND
A SPIRAL staircase was the only reason Gordon FraserQuick bought a vandalised house from the Lismore City Council that was to be demolished.
When he returned to the abandoned Bridge Street house in North Lismore after the New Year the $2100 staircase was missing.
Mr Fraser-Quick believes a hacksaw was used to remove the staircase, which weighed about two tonne and stood two metres tall.
The Ballina Shire Council service manager said the staircase was the only thing of real value.
"I bought the house and the liability, now I'm left with the job of stripping what I can and demolishing the rest of the house."
Mr Fraser-Quick had planned to recycle the whole house, but without the staircase he said it would be difficult to access.
He has also purchased another house from the council in Union Street, South Lismore, which he will relocate to his vacant river block, also in South Lismore.
Mr Fraser-Quick paid $1200 for the Bridge Street house and $5500 for the Union Street house.
"The idea was to save two houses from being demolished. I was moving the Union Street house onto the block and putting the Bridge Street house around it. The staircase was ideal for river access," he said.
"It's waste minimisation at it's best."
The qualified owner builder said he had previously worked for Lismore City Council as the waste strategy officer and has always had a desire to recycle.
"It's essentially turning something of no value into something of value," he said.
Mr Fraser-Quick said he would offer a reward to anyone with information about his staircase.
"My biggest fear is someone, desperate for cash, has cut it down and sold it as scrap metal. They would have only got about $40 for it," he said.
If the staircase is not returned, Mr Fraser-Quick said he would have to build another one himself.
"It's going to mean a lot of time and effort and I'll have to get it approved by council too," he said.
"My only other option would be redesigning the whole back of the house, and I'm not going to do that.
"The staircase had a steel centre pole, aluminium fixtures, fittings and curved handrails and balustrades which were all stolen. I just want my staircase back."
Mr Fraser-Quick said he would like to know if the staircase had been destroyed so he could start building a new one.
Police Inspector David Larkin said the police were investigating the crime and asked anyone in the building industry to contact police if they knew its whereabouts.
"We ask people to be vigilant with securing their property to make themselves less of a target," he said.
Inspector Larkin has urged people with any information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Lismore Police on 66 231 599.
"Information will be treated confidentially by police," he said.