Gympie council steps in on Rainbow Beach stair fight
A FIGHT over painted stairs at Rainbow Beach has hopefully been ended by Gympie Regional Council, which was forced to intervene on the issue.
The stairs were painted in the middle of last year by Team Rainbow, which was given money for the work to commemorate the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Rainbow Beach resident Bronwyn Noffke then stencilled the words "How good is living” on the stairs, prompting outcry and backlash from the stairs' painters, who called it graffiti.
To end the fight the council has agreed to paint and maintain the stairs for the next three years.
Neither group had council permission to paint on them, although TR had been given verbal support at a chamber of commerce meeting.
Ms Noffke's actions ignited tensions, making her the target of online abuse.
The spat quickly made national headlines when A Current Affair made a trip to town.
Despite the furore, the stairs have proven to be a popular drawcard for the town but the council's efforts to broker a solution between Ms Noffke and TR proved futile.
Ms Noffke was reportedly offered several options for her message to be placed on another art installation but director of services Pauline Gordon said "none have been taken up”.
TR said a small plaque must be included at the stairs as part of their funding agreement but council staff said they had not been given this contract.
Graffiti was not the only issue, councillor Mark McDonald said, with members of the community asking why the colour pink was missing from the Rainbow Beach stairs despite being a prominent part of the iconic weather arc.
"The Rainbow colours are different to the colours of the rainbow,” he said.
"Most of the community want the colours of the rainbow.”
And, Cr McDonald stressed, there should never be any question of the town's inclusivity.