Memorial wall thrown curve ball
FUNDS SHORTFALL MAY DELAY PROJECT
THE curved wall that will soon hold the names of 432 Victoria Park residents who volunteered to serve in World War I – many paying the ultimate price – is nearly complete but it’s still touch-andgo as to whether the ambitious project will be ready for the April 25 centenary of the Gallipoli landings.
At tonight’s Town of Victoria Park meeting, councillors will consider a request from the Victoria Park RSL subbranch for another $54,000 for bronze name plaques to the $227,000 project.
The Town’s community life director had recommended the request be refused.
A report said the Town had already contributed $144,884, a $500 donation to a public funding campaign, and another $65,000 for additional Anzac Day activities.
“The recommendation to refuse… is not expected to impact on delivery of a successful memorial wall project in time for Anzac Day,” the report said.
“The request… is not supported because the Town has already assisted Anzac centenary initiatives extensively and there are no funds allocated in the budget.”
But sub-branch president Kelvin Liddiard said the project was behind by six months because the council did not tell him at the outset that the wall’s construction would have to go to tender as it was worth more than $100,000. The report states the Town discussed the need for a tender with the RSL last May.
“It’s been a comedy of errors,” Mr Liddiard said.
“In the end, the tender cost much more than our original estimation, which would have been made possible by the pro bono work our preferred builder could have contributed.”
This builder took part in the tender process but was not successful.
“The wall is wrapped waiting to cure but I have no control over the weather and when council can complete the inspections and ancillary work,” he said.
“If it’s not ready in time for Anzac Day, we will have to defer the opening and dedication of the wall.”
Kelvin Liddiard, Victoria Park RSL sub-branch president and prime mover of the commemorative wall, has been stymied by a lack of response and funding for the project.