Anzac Park's $15m facelift
A MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR proposal to redevelop Quay Street parklands could see a new Anzac memorial precinct with a Wall of Remembrance, military museum, wedding chapel and more.
If it goes ahead, Bundaberg would also be in line to get a brand new aquatic centre, as the site would take up land currently used by the ageing Anzac Pool.
The proposal was submitted by the Bundaberg RSL sub-branch and Bundaberg Regional Council to the National Commission on the Commemoration of the Anzac Centenary, which called for suggestions on how to commemorate 100 years since World War I.
Bundaberg RSL sub-branch deputy president Paul Tramacchi said the memorial precinct was designed for community use all year round for events including festivals and weddings.
“The original war memorial will remain the primary focal point for Anzac Day, but the park was designed with the community in mind,” Mr Tramacchi said.
“Subject to gaining the support of the Australian Government, this project could allow the Bundaberg community to expand their already proud Anzac spirit by remembering the men and women of this region who gallantly served in all theatres of war and peacekeeping during the last century and through to the next.”
He said the sub-branch had been researching the idea for several years, but was spurred into action after the national commission announced it was calling for suggestions by September this year.
“We called the project ‘Anzacs Returning Home', because it will be on land that formerly belonged to the RSL - in a sense we would be returning home,” he said.
Bundaberg mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said, if successful, the proposal would mean the Anzac Pool would need to be demolished and rebuilt on a new site.
“Unless we get significant support from the federal and state government, it won't happen,” she said.
She said the final cost of the project would not be finalised unless the government expressed interest, but estimated it could cost up to $15 million - potentially including up to $11 million for rebuilding the pool at a new site.
Cr Pyefinch said the opportunity to redevelop the land and get a new pool had come out of the blue, but was welcomed as a golden opportunity.
“It would be a really iconic statement in the city about our Anzac spirit, and it would be just beautiful,” she said.
“But someone has to pay for it.”
The commission expects to report to the federal government early next year.