The statues of four past premiers of Victoria stand in Treasury Place, and are seen here getting their daily ablutions.
I was initially at a loss to understand why these four had been chosen, but apparently it was a decision of the government of Premier Jeff Kennett (Liberal, 1992 to 1999) to honour former Victorian premiers who had served 3,000 (consecutive) days or more. (Alas, Jeffrey himself was cut down at a mere 2,571 days, and doesn't qualify. It's probably one of those moments where you think "If only I'd made it 2,000...")
One Premier who didn't QUITE qualify is James McCulloch (1863 to 1868, 1868 to 1869, 1870 to 1871 and 1875 to 1877). He got his 3,000 days, but it took him 4 attempts with other guys in between. (And attempts 2 and 3 both lasted 437 days, which would have to weird you out a bit.) Sorry James, no statue for you.
The four who rated the statues are:
- Albert Arthur Dunstan (Country / UAP, 1935 to 1945 aside from 5 days in 1943, but he'd already racked up his 3000 days in his first premiership);
- Sir Henry Bolte (Liberal, 1955 to 1972, now THAT'S longevity);
- Rupert ("Dick") Hamer (Liberal, 1972 to 1981);
- John Cain (junior, Labor party, 1982 to 1990. Interestingly his dad (John Cain Senior) was the one who knocked Dunstan out for those 5 days in 1943, though he had more extended terms himself in 1945 to 1947 and 1952 to 1955. Not enough to get himself a statue, though.)
Since then two premiers have come close to getting the metallic gong (Kennett, and Steve Bracks (Labor, 2,841 days, 1999 to 2007), but haven't quite made it. The incumbent, John Brumby, would need to hang on until 16 October 2015 and in THIS economy? Unless things turn around by early 2010, I'm not sure that any government which is currently in power will still be around by then.
Except maybe Vladimir Putin's...
(Sidenote: Yes, we've had Premiers in NSW who have lasted more than 3000 days as well. One of them might even warrant a statue. One of the other ones would have people training pigeons for the purpose of dumping on the statue, and for another it would be like Chicago putting up a statue to honour Al Capone.)
The statues were all created by Melbourne-born Peter Corlett (1944-current) who also created the statue of Simpson and his Donkey at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. (That gallery is currently hidden and I'll put a link to it when I open it.)