Res­i­dents be­moan no-go zone for gnomes

Coun­cil took the lit­tle guys away but an­gry lo­cals want them back

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - ROWAN FORSTER

POINT Lons­dale res­i­dents are pe­ti­tion­ing the Bor­ough of Queen­scliffe to re­place the gar­den gnomes it re­moved from a round­about on Thurs­day.

A num­ber of com­mu­nity mem­bers, who orig­i­nally placed the gnomes on the round­about in the town’s main street, yes­ter­day came for­ward say­ing they were fu­ri­ous at the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to take them away.

Jes­sica Garby — who is spear­head­ing the pe­ti­tion — said her son loved point­ing out the lit­tle fig­ures when she drove past.

“Hav­ing the gnomes there wasn’t much but it made peo­ple smile and ev­ery­one in the street seemed re­ally upset to see them go,” she said.

“They weren’t harm­ing any­one and I think it was a bit un­fair that the coun­cil took them away.”

The pe­ti­tion, which has been gain­ing trac­tion in the Point Lons­dale com­mu­nity, is plead­ing with the coun­cil to re­turn the gnomes “to their home”.

“We un­der­stand this pe­ti­tion does not cure cancer or solve world peace, but these gnomes have brought a sense of fun to the small town, lo­cal com­mu­nity,” the pe­ti­tion reads.

Queen­scliff res­i­dent, Frank O’Sul­li­van, placed a gnome on the round­about and said he was forced to email the Bor­ough of Queen­scliffe and present his li­cence in or­der to re­trieve it from the coun­cil of­fices.

He claims he was warned not to place another gnome on the round­about.

“I was dis­gusted and I was re­ally upset,” he said.

“I took my gnome from my gar­den my­self and they re­acted as if I had stolen it. They treated me like dirt.”

In a show of de­fi­ance, a hand­made sign read­ing “bring back the gnomes” was erected at the Point Lons­dale round­about yes­ter­day.

An ad­di­tional gnome was also placed at the site, but that, too, was also later re­moved.

Point Lons­dale wine bar Noble Rot took ad­van­tage of the me­dia at­ten­tion the gnome saga cre­ated in the town to pro­mote its gin and ton­ics on Face­book.

The Gee­long Ad­ver­tiser con­tacted the Queen­scliff coun­cil for com­ment but did not re­ceive a re­sponse by dead­line.

Mayor Tony Fran­cis was con­tacted, but de­clined to com­ment.

Pic­ture: MIKE DUGDALE

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