A monument to the local wool industry could be erected in Robertson Park if Mid-Western Regional Council adopts a suggestion from local wool growers.
Members of the Mudgee region Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association (ASWGA) have proposed that a statue of a sheep or ram could be erected in Robertson Park to recognise local wool growers’ historical and economic contribution to the region.
The idea was raised during a recent visit by the ASWGA national president to Mudgee.
In a letter to council, Mudgee Region ASWGA president Murray Price said superfine wool was grown primarily south of Mudgee, in Pyramul, Sally’s Flat, Hargraves and Windeyer because of their high altitude and cool climate. and some of Australia’s oldest Merino studs, such as Havilah, are in the Mudgee district.
International worsted and woollen mills regard Mudgee as one of the Australia’s most significant wool growing areas, he said.
“We would like to see a structure that represents all wool growers in the Mudgee area, not only superfine growers.
“We know the wine, mine and tourism industries have grown in significance for the Mudgee region. Wool still remains important to the Mudgee economy.
“...We feel a statue would recognise Mudgee’s wool growers and also add interest for tourists visiting Mudgee.”
While Goulburn’s Big Merino is the best known monument to the wool industry, Wagin in Western Australia, Boonook in the Riverina and several New Zealand towns also have sheep statues in prominent positions.
“Mudgee would be a wonderful place to have such a monument in recognition of its wool growing heritage,” Mr Price said.
“Mudgee Region Superfine Wool Growers do not envisage that this structure needs to be as big and there would also need to be a point of difference.”
Robertson Park has been suggested as a site for the statue because it is near the tourist centre.
Mr Price said the former mayor of of Mudgee Shire Council, Bill Cox, sent a similar proposal to the ASWGA shortly before he passed away.
ASWGA is prepared to fundraise for the statue if the proposal is adopted by council, but the project would also require council funding.
The ASWGA proposal will be considered by Mid-Western Regional Council at its ordinary meeting on Wednesday.