A Labor candidate for Braddon has called on the state government to pull funding for Burnie's $1.25 million "French Fries" sculpture and redirect it to providing economic relief to the city's residents. Sam Facey, who is a worker at McCain's Smithton potato factory and a union delegate, also wants the Burnie City Council to park the sculpture's installation while it conducts more community consultation. In November, the Burnie City Council voted to proceed with the installation of the Welcome Gesture sculpture at the entrance to the city and is preparing to begin work early in 2024. In November, the Burnie City Council voted to proceed with the installation of the Welcome Gesture sculpture at the entrance to the city and is preparing to begin work early in 2024. Ms Facey said ratepayers had been slugged with an 18 percent rate increase over the last two years. "Its tourism centre the Makers'Workshop has been closed and power and food prices are through the roof," she said. "Yet the Burnie Council has decided that a $1.25 million sculpture, funded by the state government, is the right priority for its people." Fellow Labor candidate Chris Lynch, who was among councillors to support the installation, did not comment on the issue saying he wanted to keep his job as a councillor and his work to get elected to state parliament separate. Ms Facey said the government's Gateway project showed it was out of touch with families doing it tough. "Its priorities need to be about cost of living support, not gigantic french fries," she said. The 2021 census recorded just over 9200 households in Burnie. "The Burnie council and the state Liberals could offer each household a one-off $130 payment to help with their rising power costs. Alternatively they could offer a $130 rebate off next year's rates to help ease these costs." "I also understand this french fries atrocity was only voted for by 80 people in a council vote. The vote itself was a farce with only 152 people voting out of a population of 20,000." Burnie City Council general manager Simon Overland said the council understood that cost of living pressures were being felt by many and any relief from the government would be welcomed. "However, Ms Facey is conflating a number of matters. "The council has increased rates over the past number of years, more than it would have liked. This however was needed due to the council determining to decrease rates in the five years prior which had a significant negative impact on its financial position and long-term sustainability. "I would encourage Ms Facey to read the council's annual plan and budget estimates which provide examples of what our ratepayers are paying following the rate increases, compared to what they were paying before the rates were decreased. "Despite the increases to which Ms Facey alludes, some households in Burnie are still paying less for their rates, than they were seven years ago." He said the $1.25 million in funding for the Welcome Gesture was being provided by the government as part of its Gateway program. "The Burnie City Council has no ability to modify the purpose of this grant funding, it must be spent on a gateway project for the city." He said more than 12,000 individuals researched the two sculpture options online as part of the consultation process the council undertook. "While many people decided to not lodge a vote, this amount of representation on the matter is a significant proportion of our city population."