Push for peace park

Sharon and Gary Nash.
Sharon and Gary Nash.

He was a victim of the Bali bombings and suffered burns to about 50 per cent of his body. 

He spent three weeks in a coma in the Royal Brisbane Hospital’s intensive care unit and then another two-and-a-half months in the burns unit.

The Como resident, who still has to wear pressure garments on his legs, has not let the incident bring him down and is the vice-chairman of the Bali Peace Park Association.

The aim of the association is to create a memorial garden on the site of the Sari Club for people to reflect upon and acknowledge the terrorist attack in 2002, along with acts of terror worldwide.

The focus had been to secure the site and fundraise, to assist in meeting the cost of the land acquisition and construction of a peace park and museum.

‘Eight years ago, a small group of survivors, family and friends decided it was time to do something about the Sari Club site as it was being used as a car park and showed no respect for the people who died there,’ he said.

‘We have gained the support of the Federal and all state governments and Bali Governor I. Made Mangku Pastika.’

He said the project was not just for Australians.

‘It is also for the Balinese victims, their families and the people of Bali,’ he said. ‘It is for the 22 nations of other victims.

‘It will be available for people of all nations, to honour not only victims of the Bali bombings, but victims of any event, or occurrence that obstructs world peace and the right to live our lives without threat. It is simply a place to reflect on what may have been and what could be.’

Swan MHR Steve Irons said more than $24.7 million had been paid to those affected by the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings as part of the Australian Victim of Terrorism Overseas Payment. He said since October, more than 440 claims worth over $27 million had been paid to those affected by declared terrorism acts overseas.

He represents the association in Federal Parliament.

‘The association is currently in negotiations to acquire the site with the backing of the Australian state and Federal governments and the Indonesian Government, including Balinese Governor I. Made Mangku Pastika, who I met with to promote the organisation and its campaign,’ Mr Irons said.

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