What is a love lock?
Love locks are padlocks romantic partners have traditionally locked to a bridge, gate, or similar public fixture to show their love.
The love lock concept is believed to have originated in Paris decades ago, and they have since grown to become a phenomenon in cities around the world.
However, more recently there have been safety concerns in some cities that the locks are an unsightly nuisance damaging and weakening railings and fences as they rust away.
What has Council done so far?
Council installed a love lock chain at the Sublime Point lookout in January this year to protect the fence while still providing a popular setting for people to attach their love locks.
It is hoped that this will encourage people to attach their love locks to the chain rather than the fencing.
In addition to love lock chains, Council is now looking at installing a love lock sculpture in a popular setting.
Why install a love lock sculpture?
A sculpture is considered a suitable alternative to the current trend where people use railings and similar infrastructure to attach their love locks.
The various types of metals and designs of padlocks cause a reaction with the paint and metal of the railing which leads to corrosion and long term weakening of the structure.
By providing a love lock sculpture, community members can attach their love locks to a permanent, purpose built structure that would also provide an interesting addition to the city’s public art.
Where will the sculpture be located?
A Councillor panel has chosen Flagstaff Hill as a suitable site for such a sculpture, and we are asking residents to give their views on this proposed site.
Flagstaff Hill lower carpark is being considered as the site for the sculpture.Located along the foreshore, the site is already a popular destination for outdoor weddings and wedding photos.
What criteria did Council consider when proposing the site?
Criteria considered for a suitable site for the sculpture included:
- High scenic value
- Existing popularity for wedding parties and similar life events
- Proximity to parking
- Sufficient level ground available for locating artwork and necessary access
- Ideally proposed artwork location should be possible to photograph with visitors in foreground and scenic backdrop
- Safe access to location
- Minimal conflict with existing users regarding movement, view blockage etc.
- Minimal impact on existing heritage items
The Community can also nominate an alternative location on Flagstaff Hill that meets the criteria listed above.
How much will the love lock sculpture cost?
A preliminary estimate for the installation of the stainless steel love lock sculpture, associated paving and landscaping is $130,000.
When will the sculpture be installed?
This will be determined by council and depend on the results of the current consultation.
What happens next?
The feedback from the community will be included in a report back to a future Council meeting. Decisions made at the Council meeting will be included on the Council website.
How can I have my say?
The easiest way to provide your feedback on the love lock sculpture is to complete a feedback form available on Council’s website or from Wollongong library.
You can also visit the Information Kiosk. Talk to Council staff about this proposal on
Saturday 28 November 2015
10am until 12 noon
Visit the Council marquee on the grassed area near the lower car park (on the south-side of the headland).