Andrew Ettingshausen, Pat Laws, Martin Spinks and prize-winner Rod Eddy all attended the event which drew hundreds of people.
Andrew Ettingshausen, Pat Laws, Martin Spinks and prize-winner Rod Eddy all attended the event which drew hundreds of people. Julia Bartrim

Benaraby's 'big barra' gets a tick from ET

ANDREW Ettingshausen added his star power to the official opening of the new public art sculpture at Benaraby designed to let everone know that barra country starts here.

The ex-footballer, and host of 'Escape Fishing with ET', made the trip up from Cronulla especially to attend the event at the Caltex Truck and Travel Centre on Saturday.

The sculpture, featuring a big pair of hands measuring a barramundi, was commissioned by Martin Spinks, the site owner.

The "This Big" sculpture was designed to put the town and region on the map for its fishing opportunities.

Ettingshausen said the Benaraby region represented the "real start of the barramundi fishery in Queensland, it's a great place for barra."

"Not only does the sculpture represent a designated highway landmark for passing motorists ... it also marks the gateway to newly created recreational fishing zones in the Capricornia Coast region," he said.

"It's fantastic fishing up here, its a real fish area, you've got your barra in all the rivers, tributaries, (and) dams as well."

 

When Ettingshausen comes up this way, he said, he goes out to the Bunker Islands for coral trout, red emperor and cobia.

He said the region offered plenty of great freshwater spots too, including Lake Awoonga.

"Obviously the Boyne River as well is terrific for the barra."

"It's a good statement, this is the home of barramundi, I think it's going to be good for the local community.

"Lots of people will come up to this area to fish for barra, and spend their money on accommodation and food and boats and fuel, all that sort of stuff. All those things really help a community like this one.

Prizes were on offer at the official opening including fishing rods and lures.

The big prize, an F350 Explorer boat by Quintex, fittingly went to a local, Benaraby man Rod Eddy.

Rod already has a boat at home, but he said "it's not shiny like this one."

Caltex celebrated the event with cheap fuel at 99c a litre from 7am to 9am.

Cars queued for petrol at the packed service station and Bruce Williams (Men's Shed treasurer, manning the sausage sizzle) estimated they had sold over 100 sausages in less than two hours.

Councillor Kahn Goodluck, who attended the opening in place of Mayor Matt Burnett, said the sculpture was a great addition to the region's public art.



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