Big Apple upkeep bites back

WHETHER you think it’s a piece of art or tourist tattoo, there’s no doubt about it, The Big Apple is an icon for the Granite Belt.

Now, as the region’s icon’s bright Red Delicious exterior fades to dull second-grade standard, no one knows who is responsible for its upkeep.

At this week’s Southern Downs Regional Council meeting, former Stanthorpe Shire councillors were adamant it was not their responsibility.

Back in the day, expressions of interest were called for the apple and its new owner shifted it to the site in front of Vincenzo’s.

Councillors said this agreement meant the new owner was responsible for its upkeep. However it seems council officials failed to include that in the small print, leaving it in no man’s land.

Council officials have been told to look into it and come up with a solution, but at the core of the debate is whether the apple is on private land or road reserve.

“Regardless of where it is or who it belongs to, The Big Apple is an icon. It’s a ‘welcome to the Granite Belt’,” Cr Jo McNally said.

“It’s public art basically and there are grants out there for public art projects.”

The debate over the apple was sparked when the owners of Vincenzo’s submitted a petition for council to fix the driveway of the premises.

They have received numerous complaints about damage done to customers’ vehicles because of the road’s state.

Again, council is adamant this is not their responsibility and will write to the owner to inform him of this.

The petition may have more significant repercussions, as it could spark a planning department enquiry into whether or not the owner is complying with his planning conditions.

Owners say the land is not on their block and is indeed council owned.

Vincenzo’s is owned by Vince and Kath Cavallaro. Former partners, Vince and Maria Catanzaro, this week announced they had sold their share in the business to the Cavallaros.

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