'Iconic signs' are history
NOOSA may soon be rid of the in-your-face "gifts" of the Bligh Government after an undertaking from LNP Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson that the boring brown Q150 roadside signs are history.
Erected on the major entryways to Noosa a couple of years after the 150th celebration of Queensland's foundation, the "iconic" eyesores were greeted by most locals with gritted teeth.
Among those who wanted Premier Bligh and then-Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace to stick their out-of-touch signs in with their forced council amalgamation was Member for Noosa Glen Elmes.
Mr Elmes, who is now part of the Newman Government ministry, recently wrote to Mr Emerson intent on seeing the signs hit the road out of town.
And the MP was delighted with the quick response.
"The Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has advised these signs will be removed in the coming months as works are being done in the area," Mr Emerson said.
"With consideration of the state's tight financial situation and the projected $100 billion debt left by Labor, TMR is currently reviewing its guidelines regarding signage to reduce waste and deliver projects at a lower cost."
Mr Elmes had a sharp response come the day the Q150 are consigned to the "shocker" scrap heap - "Good riddance to something that should never have happened in the first place".
"The State was in dire financial straits back then and they spent $450,000 to put up these absolutely meaningless signs," Mr Elmes said.
"It wasn't just in Noosa where they put them up but right across the state, at places like Australia Zoo.
"One of the reasons Noosa is called iconic is that a long time ago we banned visual pollution.
"The quicker they're gone the better. They will be removed as part of the normal maintenance program along those roads, so we're not spending extra money."
Fifteen places in total were named "iconic" as part of the 2009 celebrations, including the Big Pineapple, the Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Surfers Paradise, Bundaberg Rum Distillery, South Bank Parklands, Breakfast Creek Hotel, Yatala Pie Shop, Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge, Paronella Park (North Queensland), Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Currumbin Wildlife
Sanctuary, Great Dividing Range and the Darling Downs.
Media reports claimed that the State Government back then over-ruled safety concerns to erect "iconic" signs on the highway for the Yatala Pie Shop at a cost of $34,000. Mr Wallace said at the time the $34,000 price tag was part of a $450,000 sign budget for the icons statewide.
When asked about the pie signs by an Opposition member in parliament back in 2010, Mr Wallace made a meal of it.
"These icons were chosen as part of Queensland's Q150 celebrations and I am told that the good member for Albert was right behind the nomination of the Yatala Pie Shop, as was the Premier (Anna Bligh).
"There are great pies at the Yatala Pie Shop. It is not pie-in-the-sky stuff or one of those flaky policies that you get from the LNP when they tell porkie pies ... it is about putting our much loved icons on the map," he said.