Council grant to help replace much-loved statue

Published: 28 May 2021

Council have stepped up to the tune of $30,000 to help replace one of the Pioneer Valley’s most iconic landmarks.

A minor infrastructure and assets community grant has been awarded to the Pioneer Valley Tourism and Development Association to replace the statue of the canecutter in Edward Lloyd Park, Marian.

It was one of 25 community grants, totalling $180,237, awarded to not-for-profit organisations in our region during the current funding round.

Chair of the Community Grants Committee Cr Laurence Bonaventura said the original canecutter statue wasn’t made to survive the test of time outdoors in north Queensland.

“The statue had deteriorated to the extent where it had to be removed,” Cr Bonaventura said.

“And the loss of the canecutter in the park meant a loss of this visual reminder of the Pioneer Valley’s history and recognition of the people who contributed to making the region what it is today,” he said.

“It’s sensational that council have been able to chip in to help the local community commission a bronze canecutter statue that will stand proud for generations to come.”

Cr Bonaventura said the community’s vision was that the replacement statue would not depict a particular nationality.

“Instead, the statue will be a long-standing representation of the original farmers and workers in the sugar industry, be they canecutter, mill worker or farmer,” he said.

“These included British, South Sea Islanders, Germans, Irish, Maltese, Italians and people from many other nationalities from all over the world.”

The family-favourite Sarina Beach Coconut Festival also received $7500 in funding through the community grants program.

“Run by the Sarina Beach Progress Association, this is a wonderful event that really puts the Sarina Beach area on the map and reminds residents and visitors just how scenic and special this part of our region is,” Cr Bonaventura said.

“It’s fantastic to have it back from hiatus since 2018 and council is proud to be able to show its support with this grant.”

The free event will be held on September 18 in the park on Owen Jenkins Drive, Sarina Beach, and on the esplanade alongside Sarina Beach and on Sarina Beach.

Past festivals have featured beach-side market stalls, food outlets, live entertainment, rides and activities for children and youth, kite flying demonstrations, camel rides, multicultural activities and a fire show finale.

Also receiving community grants funding were:

  • City Brothers Football Club - $9291 for two new sets of moveable goal posts and nets
  • Mackay Yamadi Lera Yumi Meta Association Inc - $5000 towards the 150th anniversary of the "Coming of the Light" in the Torres Strait Community
  • Southern Suburbs Junior Rugby League - $1939 towards a line marking machine
  • Australian Red Cross Society Mackay - $1500 for materials, such as wool and filling, to make Trauma Teddies
  • Mackay Tiger Moth Museum - $6958 towards a heavy-duty lawn mower for use by the Tiger Moth Museum and the Mackay Aero Club
  • Mackay Croquet Club - $1360 towards a new computer
  • Early Childhood Teacher Association - $2500 contribution towards a hybrid (online) conference in 2021
  • RSL Marian Sub-Branch - $9603 for Marian Hall works and maintenance
  • The Neighbourhood Hub - $7500 towards The Early Years Health and Wellbeing Program
  • Pioneer Valley Sporting Association - $18,578.50 to renew the audio system for the club house as well as other repairs and maintenance
  • Mackay Contract Bridge Club - $4600 to purchase six sturdy card tables and 24 chairs
  • Film & Arts Mackay - $4000 contribution towards the ninth International Film Festival
  • Birdlife Mackay - $1000 towards Eungella Birdweek 2021 (September 13 to 17)
  • Carinya Care - $19,300 for the replacement of asbestos roofing on two cottage roofs
  • Mackay City Ladies Bowling Club - $4136 for security screens
  • Calen Tennis Association - $1500 to replace current tennis nets
  • Dows Creek Hall Committee - $3204 to install a defibrillator and mobile signal booster
  • The Yoga Partnership Ltd - $500 towards World MS Day yoga classes
  • Wests Netball Association - $1500 to purchase new junior uniforms
  • Mackay Hospital Foundation - $7500 towards the “Closing the Gap – Growing a Healthy Future” forum
  • Community Accommodation & Support Agency Inc - $22,500 towards a motor vehicle to support the continued delivery of services
  • Sarina Saints Football Club - $1267 for banners to display around the grounds
  • Bakers Creek AFL Club - $7500 towards painting of the canteen walls and new roofing.