POLL: Hat trick: councillor pays for Banjo monument despite opposition

HAT FANS: Councillor Chris Gryllis and creator of the pergola Michael Cain.
HAT FANS: Councillor Chris Gryllis and creator of the pergola Michael Cain.

THE much-debated Banjo Paterson pergola is under construction, however it is yet to find a home.

Orange City Council knocked back a proposal to erect a $16,000 Akubra-style pergola near the restored Emmavile cottage at the Adventure Playground in December, however supporter and deputy mayor Chris Gryllis has personally covered the cost of its manufacture.

Midstate Metals started work on the 3.6-metre by 4.4-metre structure last week and completion is due later this week.

Cr Gryllis said the pergola would be taken to Emmavile cottage so the ABC could finish its documentary on the cottage’s restoration, but it would remain on a trailer to be put into storage once filming was complete.

“I will store it somewhere until the council changes its mind, but we’ll worry about that later,” he said.

“A couple of people are interested in purchasing it, or I might even put in a DA to put it out the back of my house.”

Cr Gryllis said the steel structure was “looking good”. 

“It’ll be a little too big to wear,” he said with a laugh.

“The structure would be a talking point and a tourist attraction.”

Only councillors Kevin Duffy and Ron Gander supported Cr Gryllis’s proposal for the hat in December, with 29 public submissions against the idea and one in support.

The Friends of the Orange Regional Gallery weighed in on the debate last year, saying a life-sized bronze statue of Paterson was more appropriate.