News

Bah, humbug: Westpac forced to pull pin on Xmas lights

FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Trinity Drive Christmas Lights at Val Stuckey’s house.
FUTURE UNCERTAIN: Trinity Drive Christmas Lights at Val Stuckey’s house. DOUG EATON

IT'S not quite the Grinch who stole Christmas, but Trinity Drive's annual Christmas light show will no longer be fundraising for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Residents of Goonellabah's most festive street have all received a letter from the helicopter service informing them of a review of the event from a "risk management perspective", and their decision to discontinue their association.

The Trinity lights have been running for 19 years and have raised $165,000 for the helicopter service.

And it seems that it's a case of the success and popularity of the event that could be its downfall.

Helicopter crew chief Roger Fry said the decision was based on the level of vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the one-way street which caused major congestion, and which would make it incredibly difficult for an emergency service vehicle to gain access if one was needed.

"We have deemed that the risk to reputation and the safety risk (to residents and visitors) with the emergency vehicle access was too high to continue to run the event," Mr Fry said.

He said it was something that had been a concern for some time but there was no way he could see to mitigate the risks.

The Northern Star spoke to several residents of Trinity Drive, but nobody had talked to their neighbours about the future of the yuletide lights.

Val Stuckey was one of the founders of the events and regularly has one of the most impressive light displays on her house.

She said she would love to keep it going.

"I have always enjoyed it and a lot of people put in a lot of work," she said.

Mrs Stuckey said it was a shame the helicopter service would no longer be involved, because it had been a good association between them and the residents.

She estimated visitors donated about $11,000 to $12,000 at the lights each year.

Another founder, Kay McGrath, said the helicopter was a great cause and that's why everybody did it.

She also hoped it would continue.

Topics:  christmas lights editors picks westpac



Super school parking plan will cause chaos: Councillor warns

An artist's impression of the new Ballina high school.

Traffic congestion imminent in Ballina CBD if changes aren't made

WATCH: Extreme idiocy on Lismore roads

This P plater was caught on dashcam going at ridiculous speeds.

Not once but twice, an L-plater had to endure shocking driving

GALLERY: Retired truckie gutted by damage to retro van

Tony Baker is calling for public help in identifying the vandals who destroyed his van.

"A little bit of pride in your town doesn't go astray"

Local Partners

Novel with lots of heart

Be transported to another world with A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

Julie trumpets her career in music

MAKE SOME NOISE: Julie Payne played trumpet in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for 27 years and is retiring. She grew up in Casino.

"She has the potential to become a first-class instrumentalist.”

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Proposed $21 million airpark in holding pattern

A front view of the proposed new aviation museum at Evans Head.

Late businessman's dream on hold ... for now

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!