Attempt to save Big Prawn
THE proposed new Big Prawn for Ballina is still just an idea, but Annie Baines, from Brisbane, is backing the crustacean nicknamed Neville.
Ms Baines set up a Facebook page, Save Ballina Big Prawn – Icon, after Christmas in a bid to keep the Big Prawn as a Ballina icon, and was quick to feature Neville when plans were released by Lennox Head developer Chris Condon a few weeks ago.
This Saturday, she and a small group of volunteers will be doorknocking Ballina and Lennox Head with a petition to Ballina Shire Council asking that a Big Prawn is maintained as an icon for the town.
Ms Baines, who owns a property marketing company, will be moving to Ballina in the near future.
“Ballina has so much potential,” she said. “Why kill something that’s known nationally and internationally?
“Neville is the new era Prawn.”
Ms Baines said support for the Big Prawn was out there, with her Facebook page attracting more than 1600 people.
When plans for the demolition of the current Big Prawn at West Ballina were announced last year, Ms Baines circulated a petition in shopping centres in Adelaide in a bid to save the crustacean.
She gained 350 signatures in the South Australian capital.
“A lot of people were familiar with Ballina – I was surprised,” she said.
“And that’s how they know the town – the Big Prawn.
“The Big Prawn is an icon for Ballina.
“And people who know the old Big Prawn will want to see the new one.”
Ms Baines said the site for the proposed new Prawn at the planned Teven Road interchange service centre was ideal.
She said a tourism booth at the proposed site would help steer people into Ballina. “And where it will be will be Ballina in 20 years’ time,” she said.
Brian Mullens, a Ballina resident of 40 years, has signed up to the Facebook page.
He said ‘dozens and dozens’ of tourist websites still promoted the Big Prawn, even though the current Prawn was being demolished.
“People will come to Ballina and say ‘Where’s the Big Prawn?’,” he said.
“It’s always been popular and recognised by a lot of people.”