Fund­ing sought for Flin­ders mon­u­ment

Augusta Margaret River Times - - News - Therese Col­man

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.”

Tell us what you think. Email ed­i­tor@am­r­times.com.au or send us a let­ter.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the pro­posed 20m-tall Matthew Flin­ders me­mo­rial.

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