IS IT THE END FOR BIG KEV?

Hard­ware gi­ant Bun­nings could kill off much-loved Stu­art High­way di­nosaur

NT News - - FRONT PAGE - CRAIG DUN­LOP

THE mighty fi­bre­glass bron­tosaurus of Yar­ra­wonga faces pos­si­ble ex­tinc­tion — with its fate to be de­ter­mined not by the path of a rogue as­ter­oid, but by cor­po­rate hard­ware gi­ant, Bun­nings.

Big Kev the bron­tosaurus, owned by stone­ma­son Tom Fin­lay, has stood proudly be­side the Stu­art Hwy al­most since time be­gan, but the pro­posed re­de­vel­op­ment of the site could see Big Kev meet the fate of the di­nosaurs.

Hard­ware gi­ant Bun­nings in March an­nounced plans to spend $58 mil­lion mov­ing its Palmer­ston store to the Fin­lay’s Stone site.

Bun­nings gen­eral man­ager of prop­erty An­drew Marks said the com­pany un­der­stood Big Kev was a much-loved land­mark but said there had been no firm de­ci­sion on whether Big Kev would face the wreck­ing ball.

“We un­der­stand that Big Kev the di­nosaur holds a spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance to Palmer­ston res­i­dents,” he said. “We are con­sid­er­ing the fu­ture of Big Kev as part of our de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion and will up­date the Palmer­ston com­mu­nity once a de­ci­sion has been made.”

Mr Fin­lay said he was un­able to com­ment on the pro­posed Bun­nings move or the fu­ture of Big Kev.

But the NT News has been told there are other plans to save Big Kev if Bun­nings de­cides he won’t fit in at the Yar­ra­wonga site.

Vis­it­ing Big Kev yes­ter­day, Shai-Lee Ni­chols said her son Markus, 2, “loves all things di­nosaur” and that there might be tantrums of di­nosaur pro­por­tions if Big Kev dis­ap­peared. “They have to keep him,” Ms Ni­chols said.

Mr Fin­lay last spoke to the NT News in 2012, when he was forced to sell off some of his other life­like di­nosaur sculp­tures be­cause of sun dam­age.

“They are a bit sun dam­aged, wear and tear, and kids have been pulling their toes off,” he said at the time.

Mr Fin­lay found buy­ers for his other fi­bre­glass di­nosaurs from as far afield as Western Aus­tralia.

He pur­chased Big Kev from a com­pany in the Philip­pines for $100,000 in 2007.

“The di­nosaur adds to the whole at­mos­phere of the gar­den,” he said at the time.

Young­ster Markus Tude­hope, 2, will be dev­as­tated if ‘Big Kev’ the Di­nosaur dis­ap­pears from its cur­rent home Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Pic­ture: JUSTIN KENNEDY

Markus Tude­hope, 2, will be dev­as­tated if 'Big Kev' the di­nosaur dis­ap­pears from its Yar­ra­wonga home

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