Council to remove Rolf Harris references

Rolf Harris outside court last week. Picture: Getty Images
Rolf Harris outside court last week. Picture: Getty Images

The entertainer was stripped of his Freemanship of the Town at a special council meeting on Thursday evening after councillors unanimously agreed it was the right thing to do.

Councillors also voted four to two to remove artwork from council chambers and five to one to remove a plaque laid by Harris at the opening of the Heritage Trail in 1988, but the plaque was stolen by thieves on Friday.

Cr Gangell said the theft of the plaque was concerning given the council had decided to remove it and keep it in safe storage in perpetuity.

He added the decision to remove everything was all about the victims and while it was a hard one to make, it was ultimately the right one.

‘Last week was all about the victims and sending out a message to the wider community that no matter who you are, what position you have or what status you hold in the community, if you are found guilty of such horrendous crimes it will not be tolerated,’ he said.

‘It has been a hard and difficult week for the town and councillors have felt a personal attachment to this issue, and it has been a very difficult decision for the Town to have to make.

‘Ultimately we felt we had no other option but to send the message that these sorts of crimes will not be tolerated.’

Cr Gangell said the removal of the paintings is expected to happen this week and all items are expected to be safely stored.

Anyone with information on the missing plaque is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.