Editorial: Let's get over this bridge together

Battle lines were drawn between community and council in the naming of the Dame Mary Gilmore footbridge.

Of 28 submissions to the ULSC for naming the footbridge for Dame Mary, eight were in favour and 20 were not.

However, and herein lies the conundrum, many of those not in favour offered alternative suggestions.

Kids' ideas: For past council matters, they included a Dino World for streetscape improvements. Photo: icon0.com

Kids' ideas: For past council matters, they included a Dino World for streetscape improvements. Photo: icon0.com

So, should the 20 unfavourable responses count as a collective, meaning more votes against than for? Or should the alternative suggestions count only as a single vote each?

Here's a plan:

  1. Hold a revote: During the council election of 2020, ensuring no unbudgeted expenses, and include a secondary vote for naming the bridge.
  2. Hold a public debate: Scott Morrison could be pro- (Dame Mary is his cousin) and president Xi Jinping could be against. The leaders could attempt to persuade us of their systems of government. For explanation, Dame Mary's name has been associated with communism during this heated debate. For those living under a rock, this is the same Dame Mary whose iconic face is inked on the $10 note.
  3. If Morrison and Jinping won't play ball, there's always Romeo and Juliet. Inspiration could be sought from the infamous houses of the Montagues and Capulets and that famous script by poet and playwright William Shakespeare. Romeo does say: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
  4. Take a leaf from other iconic buildings and give the bridge several names. The name Big Ben actually refers to the bell, not the 320-foot-high clock tower, which was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012 for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It's also known as St Stephen's Tower.
  5. Swing a bungee rope from it and call it after AJ Hackett, NZ entrepreneur and inventor of the bungee jump.
  6. Ask the kids: The council has been down this path for streetscape improvements, which could have seen tourist attractions such as the Big Quoll or amusements such as Laser World, Dino World and Game World light up the area.

Moving on from this argument would be delightful.

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