The final stage of the installation of Corey Thomas' 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay.
The final stage of the installation of Corey Thomas' 12 metre tall lighthouse sculpture on the new Bayshore Drive Roundabout at Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

Petition calls for disco dong to be gonged

BYRON'S Disco Dong has continued to get locals fired up with another Change.org petition to get the 12 metre tall Lighthouse Sculpture removed attracting more than 740 signatures.

A similar petition circulated in December last year attracted 2,900 signatures.

Controversy has stirred up again over the $50,000 artwork with council's Public Art Panel considering an offer by the artist to return and finish the project.

Some locals bristled at the idea council could shell out another $25000-$50,000 in traffic management costs to make that happen.

When we asked the question. "Byron Council wants the artist to come and complete it gratis (except for $25-$50K worth of lollipop signs and traffic cones) still others have a petition going to pull it down. If we do pull it down what do we do with it?"

"The message from more than 60 respondents was overwhelmingly that the sculpture should be removed, with many wanting it sold off and the money used on other projects most notably road repairs.

Some were in favour of there being a sculpture in that location but most felt it should be a more appropriate design to better suit Byron Bay.

Ali Drennan's comment was particularly popular saying, "Sell it, I'm sure it will find a more suitable home. Then use whatever it sells for to put something more appropriate in. Even just $500 could buy a beautiful mature pandanus palm that would suit the area. Or the local men's shed could carve a 'Welcome to Byron' sign out of wood. Or use some old surfboards to create a sculpture."

Some didn't hold back when it came to expressing their displeasure with one respondent writing: "It is perfect for Pacific Fair or Robina... where everything is ugly, pointless, tasteless, tacky, overdone and expensive."

Still others advised us in no uncertain terms to "get over ourselves" with just seven of the sixty respondents saying they liked the sculpture and that it should stay.

Byron Shire Council and the Public Arts Panel are sure to come under further scrutiny having commissioned two new pieces of public art for the upgraded Railway Park in Byron Bay.

One of the pieces, by Brisbane artist Giovanni Veronisi, is an $80,000 galvanised steel sculpture that takes its visual cue from the pandanus fruit and will be paid for through developer contributions.

The other is being created by the Arakwal youth who are developing designs that tell cultural stories which will be sandblasted into paving in and around Railway Park.

The final decision about the Lighthouse sculpture will come at August's meeting of council.



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