Pressure ramps up on rainbow stairs saga
GYMPIE Regional Council will stick by its existing resolution to keep the Rainbow Beach Road stairs to the beach rainbow coloured.
And it will oppose the addition of any extra graffiti, including the words "HOW GOOD IS LIVING” which have been stencilled on to the stairs.
That will be the case unless or until the community tells the council otherwise.
But that may happen sooner than was initially expected.
The apparently everlasting controversy over the stairs has led to a change.org petition and months of heated debate in a community which seems increasingly divided on the issue.
The council in January adopted a policy which it had hoped would keep the issue manageable for at least three years, maintaining the rainbow colours for three years before asking residents in the next "Our Towns” process.
It would then "evaluate the impact of the painting of the stairs and determine any future artwork.”
Now it seems that the concrete stairs are destined to become the most talked about stairs in the world.
Gympie Regional Forum has published a complaint that the council has "backflipped on its original idea and allowed the words” to be considered as possibly acceptable.
The claim is that the words are a beer brand slogan.
The original paint job was put there by a group of local business people who wanted to commemorate a gay refuge facility established at the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games.
Then construction operator Bron Nofke, who is openly gay, added the affirmation about the goodness of being alive.
Mayor Mick Curran acknowledges passionate division in the community on the issue but says the council wants to hear from the people.
"People down there have strong opinions either way,” he said.
"At the end of the day, the whole of the Rainbow Beach community should have a say and the matter will then be resolved.
"If there is no change to the council resolution that will be the end of it.
"It is Rainbow Beach and the stairs generate good attention. Every day you see people getting their photographs taken in front of it. You would hope there is enough emotional maturity for people to accept the decision.”