NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has backtracked on the $25 million price tag placed on having the Aboriginal Flag installed on Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.
The Premier had initially defended the cost, however, faced backlash from the public who couldn’t quite believe it would cost that much and take two years to be installed.
Perrottet seemed equally bewildered by the cost and construction time when asked about the installation process by Channel 10’s The Project on Sunday (June 19) night.
He said: “I don't know. But it does, apparently. I'm even surprised it takes this long. I mean I made the announcement a while ago and the first brief that came back was that it takes two years to do.”
The Premier, who has been dubbed ‘Dom the Builder’ because of his construction spending, even claimed he would get up there and do the job himself.
He added: “I’ll go to Bunnings myself and climb up there and put the pole up.”
However, following widespread ridicule on the cost, Perrottett told 2GB on Monday (June 20) morning that the cost ‘doesn’t seem to pass the pub test’.
He said: “I accept that it’s not a simple process and it's not a simple construction.
“But like most fair-minded people across the state, I would say that it seems to be a pretty ridiculous and outrageous cost.”
However, the former treasurer of New South Wales, explained that the $25 million cost was due to the size of the pole and the heritage status of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Pettrottet told 2GB: “The advice that I’ve received is that it’s complex, there are heritage concerns, all three poles will need to be replaced and all three of them are the equivalent size of a six-storey building.”
$25million to put the indigenous flag pole up on Sydney Harbour where do they come up with this Hugh amount what's it gold plated wake up NSW government it's tax payers money shop around for better prices 😡😡— @pushntime making a mile (@pushntime) June 19, 2022
The historic announcement was made in Perrottet’s 2022-23 budget announcement.
"Our Indigenous history should be celebrated and acknowledged so young Australians understand the rich and enduring culture that we have here with our past," Perrottet said in a statement.
"Installing the Aboriginal flag permanently on the Sydney Harbour Bridge will do just that and is a continuation of the healing process as part of the broader move towards reconciliation."
However, the Premier doesn’t want the cost to get in the way of the momentous decision that the NSW government has made, telling 2GB that he would reevaluate the quote and be ‘making sure we bring it down.’
“This is an important project,” he said.
“I don’t want the cost getting in the way of what is an important decision that we’ve made as a government and that is to fly the Aboriginal flag alongside the New South Wales flag and the Australian flag on the bridge.”
Featured Image Credit: Robert Wallace / Wallace Media Network / Alamy Stock Photo. IOIO IMAGES / Alamy Stock Photo.
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