The smiles tell it all … the Big Peanut has finally arrived and is in Lions Park! From left, committee members Rowena Dionysius, Tina Torrens and Kristy Board
Kingaroy’s new Big Peanut is made up of cogs and wheels, springs, bits of ploughs and bits of plant and machinery

November 4, 2021

Yes, it’s finally arrived! At 5:30am on Thursday, a crane lowered Kingaroy’s long-awaited Big Peanut into place on a pedestal in Lions Park.

No one could wipe the smiles off the faces of the Kingaroy Needs A Big Peanut committee members behind the project.

Local motorists also seemed to be pleased, honking their horns as the installation happened.

It’s been a long journey for the community group which has been working for four years to bring a Big Peanut to Kingaroy – the town known nationwide as “the peanut capital of Australia”.

Many people – including XXXX and a major metropolitan newspaper we won’t name – have assumed in the past there already was a Big Peanut in town. But the only Big Peanut in Queensland, until today at least, was a fairly small fellow at Tolga.

Kingaroy’s new Big Peanut is not just some tacky, fibreglass creation; it’s a genuine piece of artwork created by acclaimed metal sculptor Kane Minogue.

The half-tonne peanut was crafted by Kane out of pieces of old farming equipment donated by local farming families.

The major sponsors of the project, peanut industry giants Bega Cheese (PCA) and G Crumpton & Sons, also donated pieces which made their way into the sculpture.

Kane told southburnett.com.au that the work took “a couple of months” to complete, working full-time.

COVID restrictions delayed the project, but during one of the easier periods of border restrictions, the committee members transported the metal donations to his workshop in Grafton.

Heavy rain in the Grafton area then delayed the project again, as the truck to transport the half-tonne peanut could not access Kane’s workshop.

This is Kane’s first project in Queensland, although he has completed many other artworks around Australia.

It’s a bit of a coming home for him, as he lived in Queensland for 13 years and has schoolfriends in Kingaroy.

He said watching the livestream of the Big Peanut being lowered into place was “a bit surreal”.

“I am very elated and proud that I have done it,” he said.

He praised the Kingaroy Needs A Big Peanut committee for their courage and “beautiful vision”.

Committee spokesperson Kristy Board said the Big Peanut could not have become a reality without the numerous community contributors who donated through a GoFundMe page.

Sponsorship was also received from The Peanut Van as well as in-kind support from AMG Electrical, ATC Engineers & Project Managers, AM Cranes, Kingaroy Freight Express, Paul Reeves Carpentry, Rixon Design and JS Signs. The South Burnett Regional Council built the concrete plinth.

Committee member Rowena Dionysius said the result was “bloody awesome”.

“It is like a monument to the peanut growing families. Even if peanuts become less important in the future they will still be a very large part of the history of Kingaroy,” she said.

The Big Peanut is part of a major upgrade at Lions Park.

Council has revamped the area around the statue with new pathways, wheelchair-friendly picnic shelters and a wheelchair-friendly barbecue. This work was supported by a State Government Works For Queensland grant.

The Big Peanut will be illuminated at night from two poles, which were also installed on Thursday morning.

Work on the lighting is expected to be completed on Monday.

There are more finishing touches to the concrete plinth to occur, too. Plaques will be affixed to each of the four sides, recognising the major sponsors, Council and the many residents who made donations to support the project.

No date for the “official opening” has yet been set.

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[UPDATED]

The Big Peanut is actually quite big … 3.4m tall, in fact, mounted on a 1.8m high plinth
The giant AM Cranes rig lowers the Big Peanut into position early on Thursday morning (Photo: Torkit Business Solutions)
Some final touches as the Big Peanut is lowered into place (Photo: Kingaroy Needs A Big Peanut Committee)
In Lions Park on Thursday morning … from left, Tracey Stark (SBRC), Abigail Andersson (Committee Member), Tina Torrens (Committee Member), Janene Steinhardt (Committee Member), John Howard (SBRC), Neville Page (AM Cranes), Garry Perfect (SBRC), Jamie Sellars (Ergon), Mick Cuolahan (AM Cranes), Kristy Board (Committee Member), Paul Reeves (Paul Reeves Carpentry), Mitch Gray (AMG Electrical), Rowena Dionysius (Committee Member) and Lucas Bell (SBRC) (Photo: Kingaroy Needs A Big Peanut Committee)
After the media photo shoot wrapped up, some genuine tourists turned up to take their own photos! Nicola Wassell and Mike McCauley, from the Gold Coast, were stunned to learn they were probably the first tourists to stop at Kingaroy’s new attraction
Paul Reeves, from Paul Reeves Carpentry, was one of team members who helped fix the Big Peanut in place … after all the media hullabaloo was over, he resumed work, adding more cement to fill in gaps on the base
The upgrade to Lions Park was a Works For Queensland-funded project, separate to the Big Peanut but the South Burnett Regional Council made sure there was a peanut theme in the new concrete pathways
Members of the Kingaroy Needs A Big Peanut committee ham it up for The Courier-Mail

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Video by Torkit Business Solutions

Big Peanut.mp4 from Torkit Business Solutions on Vimeo.


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