New hope for Gympie’s much maligned $85k Christmas tree
FORGET decking the halls, Gympie residents are getting the chance to deck the city’s own Christmas tree.
Gympie Regional Council is asking residents to donate decorations to be hung on the living tree in Nelson Reserve and follows the commitment of lights for the pine from several Gympie businesses.
Councillor Shane Waldock said it was a chance to generate some Christmas spirit following a tough year.
“I understand the Christmas tree has been a rather contentious issue in the past, but with the help of some generous local businesses we have been able to source some appropriate up lighting,” Mr Waldock said.
The tree became a sore point for the council and the community after it was revealed the $100,000 budget to deliver the tree and lighting to the region’s satellite towns had already blown even though the tree was yet to be completed.
So far $120,000 has been spent; $35,000 on decorations for the towns, and the remaining $85,000 on the tree.
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It prompted an apology from CEO Shane Gray, who said finishing the tree to the standard promised to the community would cost another $30,000 and bring the tree’s total bill to $115,000.
Mr Waldock said there would be “some parameters” on how the tree could be decorated but he had little doubt it would still dazzle.
“I am sure that whatever donations we receive will look fantastic,” Cr Waldock said.
Decorations cannot be heavier than 250g and no larger than a standard football.
The council suggested they be hung using wire coat hangers embedded in the design with the hook at the top.
They can be donated at the Gympie Library from 9am-4pm.
This year’s tree is being decorated and lit with the help of Energex, Groves Electrical and Sherriff Electrical.