Doubt over free Anzac service flyover
BARGARA Remembers president Greg Barnes concedes that a plane flyover is unlikely to happen on Anzac Day, despite the contract pilot offered the service for free.
Bundaberg Regional Council decided last week not to continue to finance the commemorative flyover of the T-28 Trojan named “Miss Stress”, due to the coronavirus’s financial impact.
The cheapest quote for the service was $9316 including meals and transit fees.
Division 5 councillor Greg Barnes was required to leave the room at the time of the council’s decision, due to a perceived conflict of interest as Bargara Remembers president.
But after the council meeting Cr Barnes believed the committee could negotiate and raise money for the flyover without the council’s involvement.
Today Cr Barnes accepted it would unlikely to be possible to have the flyover, or a church service on the Bargara foreshore, after seeking advice from police officers this week.
“We had the owner of the T-28 Trojan phone me up the night before last and say, ‘Greg, let’s not muck about, I’ll supply the aircraft free of charge’,” he said.
“The advice from police, quite rightly in hindsight, was the pilot has no business being out of his home, it’s a non-essential service he’s offering,
“And if it became known that Bargara was going to get a flypass at a particular time … there would be no doubt that people would travel from Bundaberg or other areas close by to go down there and witness it, and that is not what the police want. Bearing that in mind we wholeheartedly agree.”
He said local Uniting Church reverend Jennifer Lyn would be broadcasting an online service to commemorate Anzac Day.
“So are we disappointed?” Cr Barnes said.
“Well, there’s a lot of disappointed people around the country at the moment but we will at least have the padre, who has been good enough to agree to lead the community, I guess, in a prayer by mobile devices.”
A Bundaberg Police spokeswoman, Senior Constable Brittany Duncan, said that local police were guided by the health directions of the Chief Health Officer.
This included home confinement restrictions in which Queensland residents could not leave their residence except to obtain food, essential services, medical treatment, physical exercise, or to volunteer or to complete essential business.
“And therefore the Anzac Day flyover is defined as a non-essential activity and to comply with the direction, police recommend that this activity does not go ahead,” Senior Constable Duncan said.