Public to air views on memorial plan

Town of Bassendean Mayor John Gangell.
Town of Bassendean Mayor John Gangell.

Organiser Paul Bridges invited councillors at their Tuesday night meeting to attend the public meeting, saying it was their chance to listen to what residents had to say.

‘Most people are totally unaware that council has decided to relocate the memorial and when they are told, they question why and instinctively say it shouldn’t move from where it is,’ Mr Bridges said.

‘It is only in the last half-|century that the bodies of our fallen were brought home for burial, so war memorials for World War I and World War II are really the headstones for our fallen and deserve to be respected as such.

‘All the claimed reasons for the proposed relocation can be addressed at the current site which is in the heart of our town and where it belongs. War memorials should not be moved about like chess pieces.’

Mr Bridges said the council should publicly explain its reasoning and gain public support for the move if it were to happen.

‘If the public does support the move then so be it, but this does not seem to be the case,’ he said.

The public meeting follows last month’s council meeting when Crs Jennie Carter, Mike Lewis and Gerry Pule joined the consensus that it was time to move the memorial to a much bigger area where there would be easier access for people with disabilities and where it would take pride of place in the Town of Bassendean.

Cr Anne Brinkworth disagreed, saying she had agonised over the decision for weeks.

Mayor John Gangell said the council would keep the community well informed of the relocation process.

‘Once completed, this is a project our community can be very proud of and (it will) provide a true pride of place for the Bassendean War Memorial and Civic Gardens,’ Cr Gangell said.

The new site is BIC Reserve, bordered by Wilson and James streets and Guildford Road.

The design incorporates retaining Movies by Burswood at its current location, with works expected to be completed towards the second half of the year.

For details about the public meeting, call Mr Bridges on 9377 1914.