$5K ask for art

THOSE who suspect that nearly $5000 may be too much to pay for a woven basket will be relieved to know it is a big basket and there are other hidden benefits.

Gympie Regional councillors yesterday agreed, after some expressed doubts, to look further into the issue of spending $4960 on a Regional Arts Development Fund grant to CoolArts Gympie.

The mission: to create a Mary River turtle sculpture using woven cats claw weed.

Mayor Ron Dyne said he could understand the project had artistic value, but questioned the grant size.

Turning to staff to explain the proposal, he said: "I understand it's art but I can't get my head around us spending $5000 on something like this".

Mary Valley councillor Julie Walker said the project would also create "a display at the Mary River Festival" and would be more permanently displayed at the Kandanga Information Centre and Mary River Education Centre, at Kandanga railway station.

Other projects that went before the council yesterday included a $12,650 plan to capture the oral history of the Queensland Rail line from Gympie to the Mary Valley, used these days by the Mary Valley Heritage Rail.

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