Battle of the boat shows could prove costly
THE region's two biggest councils and two important rescue services are the main players in a development that could spell the end of the Ballina Boat and Leisure Show.
A proposal to move the 4WD, Caravan, Camping and Marine Show - organised by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter - from Lismore to Ballina will be discussed by the Ballina Shire Council tomorrow.
Council staff have recommended approving the move, boosted by a cash contribution of $20,000.
Marine Rescue Ballina runs its annual Boat and Leisure in late September or early October.
Unit commander John Donoghue said the first he had heard of the proposal was when The Northern Star phoned him yesterday.
"That would have a big effect on us," he said.
"It would just about wipe out our event."
The Kingsford Smith Park sports fields are the proposed new site.
Westpac Helicopter general manager Kris Beavis said all options were being considered.
"We're also talking to the Lismore City Council about what could be done to improve facilities at the showground or whether there are other suitable venues in Lismore," he said.
"The show is getting bigger and exhibitors have expectations about facilities.
"We need an appropriate venue for expansion."
The Lismore A and I Society charges for use of the showground.
While there would be no council hire fee for Kingsford Smith Park, extra costs would include temporary fencing and toilet facilities.