Plans to build a ‘‘Big Peach’’ sculpture in Cobram’s Federation Park have divided the town in two.
About half of the people surveyed said the big peach was a big waste of money, leaving comments such as ‘‘very tacky’’ and ‘‘spend the money elsewhere, a big peach is ridiculous!’’.
There were also positive comments from people who said the sculpture would revive interest in the town with comments such as ‘‘glad some group is doing not talking’’ and ‘‘fantastic, a gateway into Cobram’’.
The 5m high peach was approved by Moira Shire Council and will cost $70000, with $60000 coming from Cobram Barooga Business and Tourism Group, which put forward the idea in 2015.
Group president Don Rudd said the ‘‘Big Peach’’ would revive tourism in the twin towns.
‘‘Every time you go to Melbourne and tell someone you’re from Cobram or Barooga, the first thing they think of is the Peaches and Cream Festival,’’ Mr Rudd said.
Peaches and Cream was Australia’s oldest running music festival and owes its name to the area’s peach and dairy industries.
The music festival closed in the 2000s and Mr Rudd said he hoped the peach statue would put Cobram and Barooga back on the map. ‘‘This peach is about getting identity back for the town and getting traffic for local businesses,’’ he said.
The ‘‘peaches and cream’’ region produces 70 per cent of Australia’s peach crop and is the birthplace of the nation’s largest dairy processor Murray Goulburn Co-operative.
The sculpture will have 10 pieces showing different coloured slices of the peach as travellers drive past on the Murray Valley Hwy.
The peach has already attracted nationwide media coverage from the ABC, The Age and Nine News.
The sculpture is expected to be finished in January or February next year.