DHA plans ‘ap­pal’ war widow

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By JON BAS­SETT

THE widow of fallen SAS 2nd Lieu­tenant Brian Jones says she is “ap­palled” Defence Hous­ing Aus­tralia (DHA) may build in parks named for re­mem­brance of her hus­band and two Viet­nam War com­rades in Swan­bourne’s Seaward Vil­lage.

“Three weeks ago, the first thing I knew was when some­one told me that Jones Park ex­ists in his name, and the sec­ond thing I was told was that they were think­ing of de­vel­op­ing those other park ar­eas,” Tr­ish Jones (65) told the Western Sub­urbs Weekly.

DHA’s Septem­ber plans show a road skirt­ing Jones Park on the east side of the 22ha vil­lage in a re­de­vel­op­ment op­posed by Swan­bourne res­i­dents, Ned­lands Coun­cil and Cottes­loe MLA Colin Bar­nett.

Curtin MHR Julie Bishop called for a re­view of the plans 10 days ago.

The plans use all of Baines Park, named af­ter Sergeant Ge­orge 'Chicka' Baines who was killed in Viet­nam in 1968, and halves the size of Har­ris Park, named to hon­our Cor­po­ral Ron­ald 'Harry' Har­ris who was killed in the con­flict in 1969.

Mrs Jones, a Yawuru Abo­rig­i­nal woman from Broome, and her son lived in Cottes­loe while 2nd Lt Jones was at ad­ja­cent SAS’ Camp­bell Bar­racks, be­fore he was killed three months af­ter be­ing sent to Viet­nam in 1971.

Mrs Jones said a lack of con­sul­ta­tion about the vil­lage’s re­de­vel­op­ment meant she, her fam­ily and the rel­a­tives of the other sol­diers memo­ri­alised by the parks would have to re­live the trauma of their losses.

“With one hand they give, and with the other they take away with­out even talk­ing to us,” she said.

DHA prop­erty pro­vi­sion­ing gen­eral man­ager John Di­etz said new parks would re­place the ex­ist­ing parks and me­mo­rial names would be kept with the fam­i­lies of the three sol­diers to be spo­ken to “in due course”.

Mr Di­etz said DHA was “open” to the new parks hav­ing A-Class sta­tus, and it was not aware that Ms Bishop had for­mally re­quested a re­view of its pro­posal.

The three parks are Crown land vested with the City of Ned­lands and the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion can de­cide on their use.

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