26 May 2021
At today’s Ordinary Meeting, Southern Downs Regional Council voted in line with community sentiment and resolved for the Big Apple to remain at its current location at Thulimbah, and furthermore to progress discussions to formally donate the asset and transfer maintenance responsibility to the landowner of the site.
Following recent submissions for its relocation, the future of the iconic landmark captured the attention of a very passionate community and generated enthusiastic conversation as to where it should reside.
In speaking to the motion, Southern Downs Councillor Stephen Tancred reiterated that the Big Apple is in Stanthorpe’s DNA.
“Despite not undertaking formal consultation, Council received several formal submissions, some legal correspondence, many personal approaches, enormous social media interest and some running commentary in the media,” Councillor Tancred said.
“The overwhelming sentiment is the great affection the community has for the Big Apple and the respect for its history.
“Council is very transparent and inclusive in how it considers proposals and how it consults with the community.
“We have heard the feedback and agree with the community sentiment. I and my colleagues support the recommendation for the Big Apple to stay where it is and for us to clarify the legal ownership and ongoing maintenance arrangements.”
Located at the gateway to the apple growing region, the Big Apple is used by some local businesses and visitors as a landmark, with some tourism operators including it in their marketing.
Granite Belt old-timers can recall that the big red rosy apple originally started life as a green Granny Smith apple in 1978. It went into temporary retirement in 2003 and after a brief facelift, the re-grafted apple emerged as the Royal Gala apple it is today.
Standing 4m tall and 4.5m in diameter, the steel and fiberglass sculpture is officially identified as a Big Thing and is included in the Wikipedia Queensland listing of Big Things and notes from the Landmark Legends of Stanthorpe.