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    Ballina's Big Prawn

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    default Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 3:50 pm

    Situated in West Ballina, on what was the Pacific Highway, but has now returned to its name of River Street, is the Big Prawn. This was first built in 1989 as part of a tourist & transit centre on what was the main highway north/south between Sydney, NSW & Brisbane, Qld. It was a major truck stop too with restaurants, etc. The Big Prawn was also a viewing area for tourists to look at the surrounding vistas. They had to climb up inside to look out through its bulbous eyes. Meanwhile the bright pink prawn was fading in colour. There was a demolition order placed on the Big Prawn due to concrete cancer which, fortuitously, was not carried out.

    A bypass was being built to take long distance traffic away from Ballina itself which meant this site would no longer be used or needed as a tourist, transit & service centre. Well before the bypass was finished a developer bought the site & kicked out the businesses. So the Big Prawn was left to moulder away, totally neglected prone to vandalism. 

    The site became weed-infested with the developer not continuing with his plans to build apartment blocks, although the service station's huge below ground petrol & diesel storage tanks were removed & the soil remediated. He had said he was going to move the Big Prawn to a new service centre. This never happened either. Eventually the site went back on the market. A nation-wide hardware store chain bought the site to build a large trade & retail warehouse store. They already had a smaller store in Ballina & the area was ripe for a larger one. They included plans to refurbish the Big Prawn within their development application to the Ballina Council. The mayor at the time was anti-Big Prawn & wanted it demolished. He felt it was too "low-brow" for the image he had for Ballina, whatever that was. It is, after all, a family-oriented holiday destination with no pretensions of glamour. :lol3:  A petition organised to protest the demolition received over 5000 signatures & Bunnings plans were approved, in total, by the council with the mayor being overruled, thankfully, so the Big Prawn was saved. Not only that it was given a tail & a whole new lease of life. :bravo:

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    Australia has a liking for Big Things & a trip around the country to see them all could take sometime. There are over 150 of them. This is a link to the list of them.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:24 pm

    The original worn out & degraded Big Prawn with the Truck & Bus Stop cafes & Tourist gift shops. Now all gone.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:27 pm

    The new Big Prawn all refurbished & looking exactly like the local delicacy Eastern King Prawn.
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:28 pm

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:29 pm

    Complewt with its new tail.
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:30 pm

    A scene from the road heading south.
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 16 Sep 2017, 3:32 pm

    Looks like a storm in the distance.


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