One of the things I missed when I was away was the community consultation on the Royal Flying Doctor Service aeroplane in George McCoy Park.
The plane, a de Havilland Australia DHA-3 Drover was restored by volunteers and donated to Council 39 years ago.
It is mounted near the rear of the RFDS office on Council land in George McCoy Park.
These days however the plane is looking unkempt, corroded and needs new panels.
The plane dates from 1950, one of only 20 built and only six or seven now survive.
The plane on display is in fact the composite of two planes, one found near Bedourie after a 1952 crash.
The other crashed into a site on Austral Downs Station on the NT border in 1957.
RFDS Dr Ben Danneker knew about both planes through his involvement in the Aviation Historical Society and decided to restore them when posted to Mount Isa RFDS in 1979.
While the planes were in bad shape Dr Danneker realised they could assemble one good unit from them. He put the call out for assistance from metal workers and with the help of a team lovingly restored the aircraft.
Dr Danneker, a former RAAF engineering apprentice,organised the project and decided to put it on high pedestal rather than on the ground due to the plane's rarity.
Mount Isa Council provided the land, the design and the steelwork and a local engineering firm erected the steelwork.
Council minutes from the November 25 2020 meeting said the plane was in a poor state of repair and poses a safety risk to the community.
The recommendation offered two options.
The first was the transfer to Cloncurry Shire Council for possible relocation at John Flynn Place Museum in Cloncurry, with site remediation costs of around $20,000.
The second option would be for Mount Isa City Council to establish an urgent RFDS memorial restoration project at a cost of around $40,000 with a maintenance budget of around $5000 every five years.
It is a difficult decision which ever way, with a significant loss to Mount Isa's visual amenity to be balanced against maintenance costs and Cloncurry's strong RFDS tradition.