News

Raft of options for piece of sailing history

PRESERVE THE RAFT: Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum volunteers Robert Jones and John Colville with the Las Balsas raft on display in the museum. Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate
PRESERVE THE RAFT: Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum volunteers Robert Jones and John Colville with the Las Balsas raft on display in the museum. Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate Graham Broadhead

RON Creber has no doubt the raft from the 1973 Las Balsas expedition needs to be preserved because it is part of Ballina's history.

He is the curator of the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum, where the raft is prominently on display.

He was reacting to a decision by Ballina Shire Council last week to visit the museum and hold a workshop following a report presented to the councillors.

In that report - primarily about the preservation of two council-owned vessels in the museum, the historic river boat MV Florrie and the former pilot vessel PV Richmond - staff presented an option to remove the raft from the museum.

The raft is a combination of two of the three balsa wood rafts which, crewed by 12 men of various nationalities, sailed with the prevailing winds and currents from Ecuador across the Pacific Ocean and arrived in Ballina in November 1973.

Two of the rafts were towed into Ballina by the Royal Australian Navy vessel HMAS Labuan and a local trawler. The third raft, which was in poor condition, was set adrift and ended up on a beach north of Newcastle.

Staff reported to council that the raft, "gifted to the people of Ballina" by the crew, didn't meet any of the seven criteria under the NSW Assessing Significance guidelines, so "the raft is not considered to have significant heritage values".

It was also reported that the roof of the council-owned museum needed to be replaced - at an estimated cost of $200,000 - and the tall mast of the raft added to the expense because of the high roof.

One of the options given to councillors was "de-accession" or removal of the raft to reduce the re-roofing costs of the museum, and allow the Richmond to be moved inside. Another option is to keep the raft as a "curiosity".

Mr Creber said the raft had been very much undersold as a tourist attraction in Ballina.

He also said it was a former council decision to build the high roof at the museum to allow the mast of the raft to stand upright.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Is this the moment Byron Bay mum hit slain Bali cop?

epa05516075 Australian national Sara Connor (C) and British national David Taylor (R)participate in the reconstruction of the death of a police officer at Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, 31 August 2016. Australian Sara Connor and British national David Taylor, were arrested by Bali police, and are accused of murdering a local policeman on Kuta Beach. The body of police officer Wayan Sudarsa was found with deep wounds to his head and neck on Kuta beach on 17 August 2016. EPA/MADE NAGI

She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted over the murder

Why these kids are too scared to play in their own backyard

Mark Wraight with his children Chasegun and Rihanna in their Casino backyard.

WARNING: This story contains content that may be distressing

Court-ordered parolees more likely to re-offend

Fence with barbed wire. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

New research shows certain parolees more likely to re-offend

Latest deals and offers

Dolphin Awards need your outrageous music memories

DO you have a photo that captured a special moment at a previous Dolphin Awards?

Is this the moment Byron Bay mum hit slain Bali cop?

epa05516075 Australian national Sara Connor (C) and British national David Taylor (R)participate in the reconstruction of the death of a police officer at Kuta beach in Bali, Indonesia, 31 August 2016. Australian Sara Connor and British national David Taylor, were arrested by Bali police, and are accused of murdering a local policeman on Kuta Beach. The body of police officer Wayan Sudarsa was found with deep wounds to his head and neck on Kuta beach on 17 August 2016. EPA/MADE NAGI

She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted over the murder

Why these kids are too scared to play in their own backyard

Mark Wraight with his children Chasegun and Rihanna in their Casino backyard.

WARNING: This story contains content that may be distressing

Court-ordered parolees more likely to re-offend

Fence with barbed wire. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

New research shows certain parolees more likely to re-offend

Falls tickets go on sale

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

General sale starts at 9am

Star and News buried in Coorabell time capsule

Copies of the Northern Star and Byron Shire News were buried in Coorabell Primary's time capsule.

Coorabell primary celebrates 125th anniversary

Priscilla is coming to Brunswick Heads

Northern Rivers gender illusionist Maude Boate (Michael Gates) promoting the upcoming screenings of Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Brunswick Picture House.

Maude Boate will host two special screenings

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m