Me­mo­rial wall thrown curve ball

FUNDS SHORT­FALL MAY DE­LAY PROJECT

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - East Victoria Park - Michele Nu­gent

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.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

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.

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