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Big Pineapple owners to fight heritage listing

Big Pineapple owners to fight heritage listing
March 24, 2009

The owners of the Big Pineapple attraction are expected to take the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to court to appeal the heritage listing of the Sunshine Coast icon.

EPA Senior Heritage Officer Mary Burns said the owners are expected to lodge their appeal after the 15-metre fibreglass 'big thing' and the surrounding pineapple farm and train ride were granted historical status today.

Burns stated "nothing will change, except if the owners wished to demolish the pineapple itself or the whole site, they would have to get EPA approval.

"For their appeal, the owners will have to prove that there is no grounds for heritage listing."

The Big Pineapple's General Manager, John Edwards, said the heritage listing was a "huge inconvience and financial disadvantage".

"The listing includes some of the buildings here that date from the '80s. At the moment, if I see a nail that needs hammering down, I can hammer it down (but) under the listing, I can't pull up a carpet or put on a coat of paint without EPA approval."

Edwards said he objected to the listing covering the entire park, "if it was just the pineapple structure itself, we would have no problems with it at all."

Burns said the attraction, which opened in 1971, had been placed on the register for being one of Australia's iconic 'big things', as well as being a trailblazer in the field of agricultural theme parks. The EPA staff member also added that the original owner, Lyn Taylor, who built the pineapple with her late husband Bill, was pleased with the heritage listing.

"Mrs Taylor is in her 80s now, but she was very happy to hear that the pineapple would be preserved. The whole point of heritage listing is that your grand children and their grandchildren can go to the Big Pineapple and learn about fruit farming as well."
Andrew Wight

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