NOTHING has the ability to polarise people more than art.
That certainly seems to be the case when it comes to a proposal to construct a five-metre high pergola designed to look exactly like the hat Banjo Paterson wore when he was immortised on the front of the $10 note.
Having been born in Orange Mr Paterson is perhaps the city’s most important historic figure and it makes sense that we should capitalise on this.
After all Australia has a habit of linking famous folk to less famous cities and towns.
Don Bradman’s now forever linked to Bowral where he went to school, and Henry Lawson to Grenfell, where he was born, so it only seems right for us to highlight our famous connection to Mr Paterson.
Of course Orange already has a number of tributes to the bush poet including the talking book sculpture that sits outside the Civic Centre.
Recently a homestead, which is purported to be his birthplace, was relocated near the Adventure Playground and a bronze statue of Mr Paterson on his horse has also been commissioned to a site nearby.
Orange councillor Chris Gryllis believes the city’s not over its love-affair with the poet and has already paid for the pergola’s design.
He and Cr Kevin Duffy have been vocal about their wish to see it’s construction come to fruition.
However other councillors including Cr Neil Jone sand Cr Jason Hamling have flagged their concern over its hefty $30,000 price tag.
Spending large amounts of council funding on this structure is not something that should be done in haste, so let’s suspend our judgment until we’ve seen a full report on its costings and design.