Extra funds given to Bali peace park project

Bali Peace Park Association chairman David Napoli, Premier Mark McGowan, Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski and Cowan MHR Anne Aly.
Bali Peace Park Association chairman David Napoli, Premier Mark McGowan, Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski and Cowan MHR Anne Aly.

THE Bali Peace Park Association has received extra state funding as part of its long-running bid to create a park at a 2002 Bali bombings site.

Chairman David Napoli said the association was still negotiating to buy the former Sari Club site, where it hoped to create a peace park, and had offered to buy the 1500sq m site for the equivalent of $4.7 million.

Mr Napoli said the association wanted to create a space where people could reflect on their beliefs, and build a cafe or community centre there to sustain the project.

“The park itself is intended to be a place of peace and reflection in probably the busiest part of Bali,” he said.

Premier Mark McGowan meet association members at Kingsley Memorial Clubrooms on November 20 with Kinglsey MLA Jessica Stojkovski and the association’s WA ambassador Anne Aly.

Mr McGowan said the state Government was honouring the previous government’s commitment to provide $50,000 to buy the land and had increased it by $10,000 because the cost had escalated.

Ms Stojkovski said the peace park project was important to the Kingsley community, who lost seven Kingsley Amateur Football Club members in the bombings.

“The West Australians taken from their families and friends on that terrible day cannot be forgotten,” she said.
Mr McGowan said the bombings was an event that would be “forever etched in the psyche of our State and our nation”.

“We will continue to honour the 88 Australians, including 16 Western Australians, who lost their lives,” he said.

“The Bali Peace Park memorial is an appropriate way to recognise this tragedy.

“We recognise the association’s work over the course of nearly a decade to build a memorial park on the site to honour those who so tragically lost their lives, and hope the funding will assist them in their plans.”

Bali Peace Park Association members with and Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski (centre) and Premier Mark McGowan.

The association also thanked the premier for covering the travel costs for a carer to accompany one of the bombing victims, Gary Nash, to the International Congress for the Victims of Terrorism this week.

Mr Napoli said Mr Nash would be speaking at the conference about the impact terrorist events had on people who were injured as well as family and friends of the people who died.

Dr Aly, who initially became involved through the association’s 2012 Beyond Bali education package, said it had been “17 long years” since the bombings and they hoped to see the park become a reality.

Mr Napoli said it had been a long, slow process and negotiations to secure the land were ongoing.

“The battle is continuing, but it’s not an easy battle,” he said.

“It’s like wading your way through quicksand.”

Visit www.balipeacepark.com.au for more information.