IS IT THE END FOR BIG KEV?
Hardware giant Bunnings could kill off much-loved Stuart Highway dinosaur
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
Markus Tudehope, 2, will be devastated if 'Big Kev' the dinosaur disappears from its Yarrawonga home