Topics: Why we should turn Queen’s Wharf Tower into a ute

Novocastrians have reacted with shock, dismay and imagination to news this week that our beloved Queen’s Wharf Tower is heading for the scrap heap.

The council has had it in for QWT since supreme leader Jeremy Bath pronounced it an embarrassment to humanity in the pages of the Newcastle Herald last year.

The city plans to tear down the 40-metre metal phallus before Supercars brings hordes of architecturally sensitive motor racing fans back to town in November. Newcastle has tried to find a buyer (we expect them to pay for it!), but to no avail.

One innovative Novocastrian offered to put up several hundred grand to tow the thing offshore and sink it in the ocean as a dive reef, but this idea didn’t float.      

For the record, Topics agrees with Mr Bath, and we will gladly get out the socket set to help him bring it down.

However, it turns out not everybody shares our passion for detowering.

Concerned residents took to the interweb this week when news broke that the hulking structure would not be repurposed. They blamed the council for everything. One even suggested using the “iconic” tower to “lock up all the councillors and politicians and make em look at the mess they created”.

Many kinder souls liked the idea of using it as a reef, possibly off Stockton or in Lake Macquarie. One reader with a strong grasp of engineering said the tower’s steel could be used to make light rail tracks, possibly when the Newcastle tram line inevitably extends to Sydney in the next couple of years.    

Other visitor-friendly, printable suggestions included a bungy-jump tower, a pool slide, a climbing wall, a whale-watching platform, a zip line and a gun emplacement for shooting seagulls (???).

Someone urged the council to relocate QWT to Nobbys headland. No comment. 

Another reader suggested simply pushing it into the harbour. Topics, a graduate of the Shortcut School of DIY, liked this idea.                  

But David Hamilton wins the internet on this one with his suggestion: “Send it to Sims metal. It might come back one day as a Great Wall ute.” Well done, David. You are formally invited to the dismemberment ceremony.

On a different timetable

How many people does it take to remove an incorrect ferry timetable from a government website?

Topics doesn’t know the punchline, but we can tell you the process takes five days.

The Herald reported last Friday that the Transport for NSW website featured a mysterious timetable for the Stockton ferry to come into effect “on July 9”. It showed a drastic cut in ferry services.

This was incendiary stuff in the political maelstrom that is Newcastle’s transport network at the moment.

Transport operator Keolis Downer said it was an “error”. Fair enough. These things happen. But it was still there on Wednesday, people! Happily, the offending schedule has now been taken down.  

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