GuruAnn Blog

Hume City Councillor, this site is authorised by Fran Wallace, 10 Gibbons St Sunbury

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

My view on the Federation Arch

Considering the community interest in my view on the Federation Arch, here it is.

When I was a Councillor on Hume City Council, I considered myself a Councillor for the whole of Hume, not just Sunbury.. I worked very hard for the betterment of Hume including Sunbury.

When discussion commenced about acquiring the Federation Arch, I saw it as an opportunity but one that would not incur expense of the community. I was always of the view that the Arch could find a home in Hume, it would always be a reminder for our community of the proud heritage of our country.

The Centenary of Federation was 3 years ago, and during 2001, the subject of Federation was discussed widely, but since the Visual presence of a reminder has been removed it is rarely talked about.

I was of the opinion that if Hume could retain the visual reminder of the centenary of federation our community would benefit, especially the children as they would always be posing questions about the meaning of federation due to the visible presence of the Arch.

The Federation Arch Design was about celebrating our Multi Cultural Heritage, the message of Hume in the Centenary of Federation Year was Celebrating Immigration. I was very proud to be involved in the Hume Centenary of Federation Celebrations, by celebrating immigration and celebrating the fact that my father immigrated to Australia from Egypt in 1955.

My personal view is that the Arch would be best erected in a “gateway” area either in the vicinity of the Hume Hwy or within the Broadmeadows Town Area, where the Council now decides to erect it, I have no bearing on.

Whilst the design of the Arch aka “Pick up Stick” may not appeal to everyone, the very nature of public art is that it at times controversial, just look at “Blue Poles” by Jackson Pollock, that the time of it’s acquisition it was dammed my many in the public, but is now one of the most expensive examples of modern art in the world.

However we have 2 councillors in Sunbury who continue to harp on the fact that Hume has the Arch. Why??? Is it because they are both Liberal leaning in their Politics that this is a good chance to gain publicity (you know the saying, any publicity is good publicity), by bagging the majority Labor Council.

These 2 Councillors known as “The 2 Jacks” continue to oppose most ideas that the other 7 Councillors support. If Hume City Council were to be compared to Federal or State Parliaments they would be commonly known as the opposition.

Whilst I was on Council there was only 1 member of the opposition, I so clearly recall during my first month or so on council being told by that member of the opposition, “I’ll give you a bit of advice, just tell people what they want to hear”. In hindsight I should have taken this advice as if I were to have done that, I may still be on Council, but stretching the truth was never one of my strengths.