Fall­out over foun­tain’s fu­ture

Memo­rial to An­zacs will be re­placed

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - Ais­ling Brennan ais­ling.brennan@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

A LONG­STAND­ING tra­di­tion of gath­er­ing around the Tweed Heads memo­rial foun­tain on An­zac Day may be over as plans to re­place the bro­ken mon­u­ment get un­der way.

While nei­ther the Tweed Shire Coun­cil nor Tweed Heads and Coolan­gatta RSL sub-branch has claimed own­er­ship of the foun­tain, which has fallen into dis­re­pair with plumb­ing is­sues, the two groups met on Mon­day to dis­cuss the fu­ture of the iconic mon­u­ment.

Coun­cil re­cre­ation ser­vices unit co-or­di­na­tor Matt Mc­cann said Mon­day’s meet­ing was very pos­i­tive, with both groups look­ing at fu­ture al­ter­na­tives to re­place the bro­ken memo­rial foun­tain in Chris Cun­ning­ham Park.

“Coun­cil met with the sub-branch on Mon­day and it was agreed that the foun­tain is not sus­tain­able in its cur­rent state and has reached the end of its life,” Mr Mc­cann said.

“Coun­cil is go­ing to work on con­cept de­signs for a memo­rial wall.”

Mr Mc­cann said the RSL would look at fi­nanc­ing the project.

“The sub-branch was go­ing to go away and ex­plore other fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

But Tweed Heads Coolan­gatta sub-branch RSL pres­i­dent Joe Rus­sell said there had been no de­ci­sion made on who would pay for the works.

“The fi­nances have not been dis­cussed at this time,” he said. Mr Rus­sell said the RSL would work closely with the coun­cil to en­sure the new mon­u­ment was ap­pro­pri­ate for the Chris Cun­ning­ham Park lo­ca­tion.

“The coun­cil’s parks and gar­dens (staff ) are go­ing to draw up nu­mer­ous de­signs that are fit­ting for the park, in­cor­po­rat­ing the wa­ter views, and will be sit­ting down with the RSL to choose the most fit­ting for the ex-ser­vice com­mu­nity of the Tweed re­gion,” he said.

“It looks like a win-win for the com­mu­nity and the ex-ser­vice com­mu­nity.”

But many peo­ple voiced their dis­ap­point­ment about the cur­rent state of the foun­tain on so­cial me­dia this week, with plenty call­ing for the coun­cil and RSL to re­pair the mon­u­ment out of re­spect for those who served.

Tweed res­i­dent Kyl Churchill wrote on Face­book he thought ei­ther coun­cil or the RSL should re­pair the foun­tain.

“One of them (should) just do the right thing and fix it,” Mr Churchill said.

“Don’t think the An­zacs stood there ar­gu­ing about who was go­ing to pro­tect the front­line.”

Josh O’brien agreed, but said both groups should pay for the re­pair.

“Both par­ties should halve the cost and fix it,” Mr O’brien said. “Why de­mol­ish a re­minder of men and women who’ve paid the ul­ti­mate price for your free­dom?”

Some users even sug­gested the com­mu­nity pitch in if coun­cil and the RSL weren’t will­ing to fund the re­pairs. “Maybe a few tradies could band to­gether and do it as good­will for the com­mu­nity,” Jay Wright wrote.

The foun­tain is not sus­tain­able in its cur­rent state and has reached the end of its life.

— Matt Mc­cann

PHOTO: SCOTT DAVIS

LEST WE FOR­GET: De­bate over what to do with the memo­rial foun­tain at Chris Cun­ning­ham Park as the coun­cil and RSL de­cide on whether to re­place the foun­tain with a memo­rial wall and gar­den.

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