Posted: 9:13 am on 5th February 2015

poppinsilhouetteHow many spoonfuls of sugar will it take to help this news go down?

Just before its abolition after the 2013 federal election, the Department of Energy, Resources and Tourism snuck out a few more grants.

As part of its Tourism Quality Projects program, the Department handed a casual $26,400 of your money to the Southern Highlands Youth Arts Council to facilitate the building of a very important statue in the middle of Bowral.

The statue, of course, will be a bronze depiction of Mary Poppins.

Apparently Bowral is the birthplace of Helen Lyndon Goff (pen name P.L. Travers), the fictional flying nanny’s creator.

According to the Arts Council:

By erecting an elegant life-size bronze statue of Mary Poppins as commemorative public art, this project will highlight the hidden depths of Australia’s history and literary heritage for visitors from all over the world.

It seems that Mary isn’t the only thing that can blow in on the East Wind though. Grants from the taxpayer can too!

Alex Russell

David says:

There appears to be two existing statues of Mary Poppins one in Maryborough QLD and the other in Ashfield NSW, both at one time abodes of Helen Lyndon Goff. Apparently she didn’t really feel a connection to Australia when she returned for a visit from her new home in Europe…

The Centre for Independent Studies takes a jolly holiday…from the facts… | Mary Poppins Birthplace - Bowral says:

[…] Sky-high grant for Mary Poppins statue was the headline and the opening sentence reads “How many spoonfuls of sugar will it take to help this news go down?”  The intellectual laziness shown in the “research” by the CIS Waste Watch was matched only by News Corporation’s coverage of the same material. In fact, not only did News Corp fail to fact check the CIS report but it couldn’t even be bothered to get the accompanying photo correct, using an image of the inferior statue from Ashfield instead of Bowral’s elegant example. Curiously the caption reads “A different Mary Poppins statue. Source: Supplied” In other words “We know this picture is wrong but we can’t be bothered to google for 30 seconds to find the correct one”. Too bad the CIS doesn’t run a waste watch report on journalistic integrity. […]

Paul McShane says:

Intellectually lazy and gratuitous commentary by the Centre for Independent Studies in relation to the Mary Poppins Statue in Bowral. Cheap shots by a so-called think tank at a genuine community-based volunteer project that has yielded great returns for modest government assistance. Read how inept the CIS and their media counterparts at News Corp have been in their coverage here

William Shrubb says:

Hi Paul! Thanks for writing. We think it’s great that you could raise so much community money for your project, and that you have already sold two copies of the statue to a private collector for over $200,000. We also think that’s a great reason why you may not have needed taxpayer money in the first place! We’re not singling you out though; read more on our other tourism grant stories here:

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