Me­mo­rial fears

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

A pro­posed lo­ca­tion for a per­ma­nent war me­mo­rial in the City of Kar­ratha has drawn ire from the lo­cal RSL, which says it will not sup­port com­mem­o­ra­tive events at the site.

The Pil­bara News can re­veal the City is mulling over a site for a long-awaited me­mo­rial within the Red Earth Arts Precinct.

Con­cerns raised by the Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts RSL in­clude noise pol­lu­tion, high pedes­trian thor­ough­fare and the in­ap­pro­pri­ate place­ment of a me­mo­rial in an en­ter­tain­ment precinct.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the REAP pro­posal was one of many sites un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for what the City hopes would be­come a land­mark sculp­ture.

“While po­ten­tial sites have been sug­gested there are many things to con­sider in­clud­ing land ownership, traf­fic and event man­age­ment and ac­ces­si­bil­ity, both pedes­trian and ve­hic­u­lar,” he said.

“The Red Earth Arts Precinct has been sug­gested as a po­ten­tial lo­ca­tion due to its cen­tral lo­ca­tion, promi­nence, and abil­ity to ac­com­mo­date large crowds.

“A me­mo­rial in that lo­ca­tion could be­come an ad­di­tional artis­tic cen­tre­piece and attraction, sim­i­lar to sculp­tural mon­u­ments seen in Onslow and Ger­ald­ton, con­tribut­ing to the vi­brancy and sig­nif­i­cance of the precinct .”

Mr Long said the City would con­tinue to work with the RSL and Pil­bara Reg­i­ment to de­ter­mine a suit­able lo­ca­tion. Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts RSL pres­i­dent Julie Pope said the City was too fo­cused on An­zac Day, rather than use of the me­mo­rial for the rest of the year. “(The City is) look­ing at putting it right at the back of the venue so it wouldn’t have very much rev­er­ence at all,” she said. “Their logic is that for that one day of the year there is plenty of park­ing and easy ac­cess from the mid­dle of the city. If you put the me­mo­rial there, there will be com­edy shows, bands play­ing, kids run­ning around ... there is no rev­er­ence there, no re­spect. “I think we should be able to go some­where and have a peace­ful place where peo­ple can pay their re­spects. In the mid­dle of the arts precinct is not it.” Mrs Pope said the RSL had pro­posed to use the land out the back of the RSL but was knocked back be­cause the area is zoned res­i­den­tial. An­other site out the back of the golf club has also been dis­cussed. Which­ever site is cho­sen, it is un­likely the me­mo­rial would be ready for use for the fi­nal year of 100th an­niver­sary An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions in 2018.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha cadets lay a wreath at the dawn ser­vice.

An artist’s ren­di­tion of the Red Earth Arts Precinct. Pic­ture: City of Kar­ratha

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