Funding sought for Flinders monument
The committee behind the Matthew Flinders memorial proposed for Augusta wants the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River to take up the project.
Committee spokesman Russell Simpson said many residents wanted to see it happen.
“The project has been lying dormant for a few years now and we want to revive it and repropose it to the Shire councillors,” he said.
“We have the backing of the designers, the committee, community and key influencers.
“Now we really just need it getting up off the ground.”
The monument would be erected near the Augusta Boat Harbour, marking the point where Flinders first sighted Cape Leeuwin. The cost is estimated at $2 million. Shire chief executive Gary Evershed said the project needed a strong case demonstrating economic benefit to Augusta.
“Approximately 110,000 people visit the Leeuwin Lighthouse each year and I would be interested to see the case for the expenditure of $2 million in terms of increased visitation and spending in the shire,” he said.
“Another project on the Shire’s books is the pathway from the Boat Harbour to Dead Finish Bay which is currently a higher priority, and planning is proceeding on the project this financial year.” Warren-Blackwood MLA Terry Redman questioned how to fund the memorial.
“Royalties for Regions (was) probably the committee’s strongest funding avenue, but with that no longer in the picture, it really needs to have life breathed into it by the Shire,” he said.
Mr Redman said he backed the project, but knew the Shire was focused on redevelopments like the Margaret River Cultural Centre. “It’s a challenge in this political environment to get the money,” he said.
Former Parliamentarian Barry House supported the project, saying it was a step forward for Augusta.
“On the tourism front, it will promote Augusta’s significant place in early history of Australia’s white settlement,” he said.
“It’s a great idea that will some day have its day and I really hope the Government will get behind and support it.”
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An artist’s impression of the proposed 20m-tall Matthew Flinders memorial.