Big Prawn's last rites
THE home of the Big Prawn will be demolished with the future of the internationally renowned crustacean left up to its owner.
After lengthy debate Ballina Shire Council Thursday approved the redevelopment of the Caltex station site on the Pacific Highway - home of the Big Prawn.
Before the vote was taken on the recommendation by council staff to allow the demolition, councillors Sharon Cadwallader and Jeff Johnson attempted to defer a final decision.
“The prawn has attracted global attention, with such an opportunity we can't let that slip through our fingers,” Cr Cadwallader said.
“Big things were built in the 70s in rural areas to celebrate local primary industry, tell me what has changed. We still want to promote our primary industries and to encourage travellers to stop.”
However, other councillors including Keith Johnson argued that although The Big Prawn had become a 'TV star', it was not owned by the council and its future must be left to its owner.
“The only person who has a legal basis to do something with the Prawn has made an application to take it down because he wants to redevelop the site. I believe he is entitled to do that,” he said.
“If all of the people who are entranced by the Prawn care to call into their local bank and deposit money to arrange the removal of the Prawn I am sure the owner will be accommodating, but all we hear are voices.”
That view finally won the day with councillors endorsing staff advice to demolish the site.
Lennox Head developer Chris Condon has said he wanted the Big Prawn for a new service centre proposed for the entrance of Ballina, but the health of the crustacean has now thrown that into doubt.
Damien Chapelle, speaking for the developer Dojoo, told the council structural engineers had examined the Prawn and found concrete cancer, water leaks and dry rot in the viewing area.What do you think should happen to the Big Prawn? Leave your comments below.
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