Townsville Bulletin

Carved cutter statue unveiled


A Three-and-a-half metre tall seven tonne hand cane cutter statue, carved from a single log of timber by chainsaw, was installed in the Burdekin on Wednesday.

The monument, sculpted by Queensland chainsaw artist Matthew George, was erected at the Home Hill Lions Diorama on the Bruce Highway, just south of the Burdekin Bridge.

“It’s 100 per cent recycled products made from steel and timber and the carving is depicting the generation that did all the hard work for us to get here today,” Mr George said.

“The sugarcane came later into the project, it was standing on its own originally with the water bag over his shoulder.

“It was a lot of history research for me. I found out I’ve got relatives that were cane cutters.

“This is hopefully a statement and a tribute to people up here in the North.”

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn Mclaughlin said the monument represente­d the camaraderi­e and rich history of the region.

“As the sugar cane capital of Australia, hand cane cutters played a pivotal role in the history of our shire and represent everything that makes the Burdekin great: our tireless work ethic, our sense of community, and our vibrant agricultur­al industry,” Cr Mclaughlin said.

“The monument also adds a new style of artwork to the Burdekin Art Trail for locals and tourists, with public art playing a key role in increasing the visitor economy and enhancing pride in our community and history.

“I want to commend and thank Matthew for the level of detail he has included in this piece of work: if you stop to appreciate the monument up close, you will notice the Burdekin River has been carved to travel between the cutter’s feet.

“His legs are darker than the rest of the timber representi­ng the cane ash; and even the nodes in the sticks of cane behind him have been meticulous­ly carved to an incredibly high standard.”

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