Minister dubs town official home of Mary Poppins
CONTROVERSY surrounding the true home of Mary Poppins author Helen Goff, otherwise known as PL Travers, has finally put to rest after Queensland Assistant Minister Jennifer Howard visited the Southern Downs this morning.
Ms Howard visited Allora to officially open the PL Travers park, which honours the late author.
The Assistant Minister for Veterans Affairs, Ms Howard said was aware Maryborough tried to claim the title as the home of Mary Poppins, but she would be advocating for recognition for Allora.
"It's those early childhood years when a writer's imagination is formed and when Helen lived here that's when Mary Poppins was (probably) born,” Ms Howard said.
Ms Goff lived in Allora between the ages of 6 and 8, with the town featuring in the 2013 film Saving Mr Banks as her childhood home.
A statue honouring her legacy stands in PL Travers Park and was admired by Ms Howard this morning.
"It really captures the spirit of Mary Poppins and is a credit to the artist,” Ms Howard said.
Ms Howard said it was a privilege to visit small towns were residents were passionate about their history.
"When I think about Queensland I think about the regions, so coming here reinforces that identity,” she said.
PL Travers Park was completed using a $200,000 grant through the Works for Queensland federal government funding.
Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie attended the official opening this morning, saying the project had included work on a rotunda, footpath and black lamp posts to fit the Mary Poppins theme.
Cr Dobie said the Mary Poppins statue was already a draw card for tourists.
"We hope these enhancements will provide even more enjoyment for visitors and residents,” Cr Dobie said.
After opening the park, Ms Howard travelled to Allora courthouse to mark the 150th anniversary of the building and officially open the Policing and Justice in Allora exhibition.