THEIR gleaming visage stares out from the front of Gundagai’s council chambers, drawing thousands of tourists annually.
But don’t expect a mention of the iconic Dad, Dave, Mum and Mabel statue in Gundagai’s official visitor’s guide.
In an oversight that has sparked controversy in the town, council’s tourism guide has snubbed the famous copper statue.
At the September council meeting, mayor Abb McAlister questioned why one of Gundagai’s most popular tourist drawcards couldn’t make the cut in the tourist guide.
It’s a question being asked by many of his colleagues and, indeed, the family that donated the statue to council.
Gundagai’s Tout family commissioned the statue in the mid-70s as a way to attract more passing trade to their “Snake Gully” service station.
Co-owner of the service station Ian Tout said he was “bitterly disappointed” at the council oversight.
“The amount of people that pull up and take photos with the statue is unbelievable,” Mr Tout said.
“It would be close to the town’s top tourist attraction.”
The family donated the statue to council after selling up to Caltex in 1989.
Council kept it in mothballs for a number of years before giving it pride of place on Sheridan Street.
Cr Peter Batey, who was instrumental in urging council to display the statue again, described its omission from the tourist guide as an “unfortunate oversight”.
“It shouldn’t have been overlooked,” Cr Batey said.
“It’s a very important, and very popular, part of local history.”
Dad and Dave has long-been an Aussie cultural touchstone, a creation of author Steele Rudd that later inspired a radio series and a number of feature films.
Dad, Dave, Mum and Mabel were characters from “Snake Gully”, set against the backdrop of land selection in the late 19th century.
The statue was commissioned when the Touts were scouting for a tourist attraction to rival the Dog on the Tuckerbox, which was located near their service station.
Cr McAlister said it was important the Dad and Dave story was told in the visitor’s guide, even suggesting it could be printed on a bookmark and inserted into the 20,000 guides currently on shelves.
His colleague, Cr Ron Magnone, described it as a “very important statue to Gundagai”.
Council’s economic development manager Miriam Crane said the story could also be included on the back of a local eatery guide, set to be inserted into the booklet.
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