A WAGGA councillor's suggestion to allow people to sit on a life-size statue honouring the local troops of the Light Horse Brigade has divided opinion.
At Monday night's council meeting, councillors unanimously supported the construction of a mounted trooper in the city's Victory Memorial Garden, contributing $50,000 to kick-start the fundraising campaign.
During the meeting, Councillor Dan Hayes suggested that the Light Horse Memorial Committee could design and build the statue in a way that encourages interaction and allows people to "touch, feel and if some desire, even sit upon".
Cr Hayes said the statue, which will depict a trooper on his horse, will be in a location that attracts families and children will naturally want to play with it.
"Based on similar memorials elsewhere, members of the community do engage with them in ways that maybe were not intended such as people riding the horse," he said.
"I would like the committee to consider that instead of hoping this doesn't happen here or putting it behind a barrier ... It may not be appropriate for this memorial so if they choose not to then that's okay too.
"I just encourage us to not resort to the default position of them not being engaging, especially when placed in a location that attracts families."
Wagga RSL Sub Branch president David Gardiner said it was inappropriate to suggest a memorial built to honour the Light Horsemen's sacrifices be "treated as a piece of park equipment".
He said there is a high-risk that children climbing on the life-size statue could fall and injury themselves.
In other news:
Mr Gardiner said he was certain that people touching and sitting upon the statue will think it is acceptable to do the same to other memorials in the city.
"If you get disrespect for one, you get disrespect for all," he said.
Light Horse Memorial Committee member Anne Flood said she agreed with Cr Hayes comments and wants the statue to educate and engage its visitors.
"I have said to the RSL that the Victory Memorial Gardens need something people can pick up and to show what these memorials represent," she said.
"We are here to keep their memories alive and to honour them ... It's been our vision for almost two years now.
"As a teacher for 30 years, I want classes to come down and hear the stories."
The memorial which will be placed in, or near, the city's Victory Memorial Gardens will cost between $170,000 and $240,000.
The committee will source the money through various fundraising streams in the hope of building the tribute in the span of three years.