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Best local tucker fit for royalty

Showing off fresh locally-caught ocean school prawns at the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op recently are (from left) co-op employees David Reardon and Frank Reardon with co-op general manager George Robinson.
Showing off fresh locally-caught ocean school prawns at the Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op recently are (from left) co-op employees David Reardon and Frank Reardon with co-op general manager George Robinson. Doug Eaton

CASINO’S beef and Ballina’s prawns are so good they are fit for a king-in-waiting.

Prince William, the second-in-line to the British throne, was served steak and seafood from the Northern Rivers while at a barbecue in Sydney hosted by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally.

And the suppliers couldn’t be more proud, although they weren’t aware the 27-year-old Prince had feasted on their produce until told by The Northern Star.

“That’s just fantastic,” Ballina Fisherman’s Co-op general manager George Robinson said.

“Of course we’ve got the best prawns. Our school prawns are the biggest I’ve seen in more than 40 years.

“They are very good quality at the moment, so the Prince is sure to enjoy them.

“It just goes to show that even though we’re about to lose the Big Prawn, we’ve still got the reputation.”

Merrick Blok, sales manager for the Casino meatworks, said it was no surprise to hear that Prince William had dined on beef from Casino.

“We’ve got very good quality meat,” he said. “We’re excited to hear about that. We’re very pleased.”

Richmond Valley Council mayor Col Sullivan agreed that to have Casino steak on the menu for the second-in-line to the throne was ‘great’.

“It’s very good publicity for our region,” he said.

“We are the beef capital of NSW, so it’s very appropriate for him to be eating our steak.

“We have best cattle in the State.

“It’s also good to hear that he’ll be having prawns from Ballina. I love prawns from Ballina and Evans Head. They are the best.”

Ballina Shire mayor Phillip Silver said he was also pleased that the Prince had tried the local produce.

NSW Tourism MinisterJodi McKay said they had wanted to showcase the best and freshest produce from around the State at the royal barbecue.

Those lucky enough to share the steak and prawns with Prince William included Fr Chris Riley and some young people from Youth Off the Streets; athletes from the Special Olympics and the NSW Institute of Sport; Young Australian of the Year nominees; surf lifesavers; indigenous youths; young people from the ambulance service, NSW Rural Fire Service, SES and police.

Prince William’s last visit to Australia was in 1983 when he was a nine-month-oldbaby. He was with his parents Prince Charles and Diana, the Princess of Wales.

He requested the unofficial visit because he wanted to get to know Australia and its people.



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