BIG NEWS: President of Ballina Tourism and Hospitality Inc, Leanne Cawley, welcomes news the Big Prawn at Ballina has been saved.
BIG NEWS: President of Ballina Tourism and Hospitality Inc, Leanne Cawley, welcomes news the Big Prawn at Ballina has been saved. Graham Broadhead

Big Prawn lives on

BALLINA'S Big Prawn will live on.

And that is big news for Ballina's tourism, according to Tourism and Hospitality Inc president Leanne Cawley.

But it took a hardware chain to save the crustacean.

Ballina Shire Council last week approved the $12m Bunnings Warehouse development of the West Ballina site where the Big Prawn has stood tall since 1990.

Part of that approval was for the prawn to be shifted on the site, and brought back to its former glory - with a tail to be added.

Before Bunnings stepped in and bought the West Ballina site last year, the prawn had been earmarked for demolition.

That move sparked a campaign which involved a Facebook petition, creation of Save the Prawn T-shirts and a feature on Channel Seven's Sunrise program.

At the time, the prawn also coincidentally appeared on US television.

Even after the demolition approval went through in 2009, the prawn was still being photographed by passing tourists.

And that, Ms Cawley said, was the importance of saving the crustacean.

"It's known internationally," she said.

"This will keep strength in the connection that the Big Prawn is in Ballina."

Ms Cawley said she would like to see the word 'Ballina' painted on the revamped prawn to reinforce the tourism connection.


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