It’s been revealed that the vine shade structure on Cavenagh Street in Darwin is expected to cost taxpayers up to $100,000 this financial year.
The figure was revealed in the NT Government’s response to questions asked about the maintenance of cooling structure by the Opposition.
Maintenance expenditure this financial year has already cost the government $48,303, up from
$13,370 the previous year.
Shadow Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics spokesman Gerard Maley says the vine structure is a huge waste of taxpayers money and a complete failure.
“How maintenance of this vine has increased six-fold since 2021 is laughable, when the vine is lucky to have reached the top since its planting.”
He says the greenery should be removed and a roof installed or a different vine planted.
“The fix is easy, put the right one in, put some bougainvillaea on it but this is an example of the Labor Government just being too arrogant to fix it,” Mr Maley says.
Police Minister Kate Worden has defended the $3.4 billion structure, saying it’s part of the government’s broader revitalisation plans.
“You can see the fantastic work at State Square, that’s going to continue through all the artwork through the city of Darwin,” Ms Worden says.
“We want our capital city looking absolutely fantastic for our visitors,” she says.
“If you go into State Square now and you see all the beautifications, you see the connectivity with the Waterfront.”
With no plans to replace the existing vine, the NT Government is trailing alternative species that will coexist with the current variety.