CELEBRATING THE RIVER: While last Sunday’s Rivafest, with evening entertainment featuring the Samba Blisstas, celebrated the Richmond River, Ballina’s mayor, Cr Phillip Silver, has suggested the shire could be rebranded using the river for its logo.
CELEBRATING THE RIVER: While last Sunday’s Rivafest, with evening entertainment featuring the Samba Blisstas, celebrated the Richmond River, Ballina’s mayor, Cr Phillip Silver, has suggested the shire could be rebranded using the river for its logo.

Out with the old, says Mayor

FORGET the seahorse.

Ballina Shire’s mayor, Cr Phillip Silver, has put forward the idea that a graphic of a community living by the river and a pathway could be used as the new branding – or logo – for the shire in readiness for the completion of the Ballina bypass.

The seahorse is Ballina Shire Council’s current logo, but Cr Silver said the new branding could help in identifying Ballina Shire post-bypass.

Cr Silver was speaking after last Sunday’s Rivafest, the annual festival celebrating the Richmond River and the communities on its banks.

He agreed the river had played a major role in the development of Ballina, and the shire, and the celebration of the river offered the chance for residents to feel a ‘sense of belonging’.

The council chipped in $35,000 to hold the festival, and raised more than $140,000 in sponsorship.
He said the river ‘was a reasonable thing to hang our hat on’ to promote the shire.

Dave Heggie, secretary of Ballina Tourism and Hospitality, said he wouldn’t be sad to see the seahorse go.

“I have never seen a seahorse in Ballina in 30 years,” he said.

“It’s a logo we’ve had, but it might be time to look at changing it.”

He said Ballina Tourism and Hospitality members were involved in discussions with council about changing the shire’s logo, but those talks stalled due to a lack of funding.

“At that time, we (Ballina Tourism and Hospitality) decided we needed to step outside the framework, and came up with our logo,” Mr Heggie said.

The Ballina Tourism and Hospitality logo is in the shape of a seashell, with colours representing the progression from the ocean to the river and to the greens of the hinterland.

He said Ballina needed to do everything possible to differentiate the shire from every other town in the region, and other coastal towns, particularly as the bypass is scheduled to be completed by 2012.

He said Rivafest was a ‘magic’ festival for locals, but said it didn’t really bring people to town from outside Ballina Shire.

“Maybe we need to create something that is for people outside Ballina,” he said.

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