Hervey Bay RSL Sub Branch president John Kelsey with a brick similar to those that can be purchased for the new monument in Freedom Park.
Hervey Bay RSL Sub Branch president John Kelsey with a brick similar to those that can be purchased for the new monument in Freedom Park. Alistair Brightman

Freedom Park to be expanded instead of moving

A MOVE to establish an iconic war memorial near the Hervey Bay Cultural Centre has been scrapped and a plan devised instead to expand Freedom Park.

The cultural centre site had been seen as a solution to cater for the ever-increasing crowds that now flock to Anzac services in the area.

But Hervey Bay RSL Sub Branch president John Kelsey said the expansion of Freedom Park would allow for an audience of 5000 people, and it would also ensure the original memorial site was not forgotten.

"There would be pathways between the old memorial and the new, which links them together, and with the other memorial in there it's a better whole memorial park," Mr Kelsey said.

"There were some fears from some of the oldies around town about the old memorial and this way the two are interlinked in this great big park."

Design plans reveal the expansion would take place to the north of Freedom Park, with a possibility Charles St (also to the north) could be blocked and a car park constructed.

The new memorial is to feature a monument of a member of the 5th Light Horse (pictured) charging at the battle of Beersheba, in Egypt, during the First World War.

Mr Kelsey said another addition to the site would be a new tribute wall to honour soldiers, both from within and outside the region.

He said people would be able to sponsor the special bricks, with the names of those soldiers being honoured and other details being printed on one side.

The project should be completed for the centenary of Gallipoli in 2015.

The Hervey Bay RSL Sub Branch is still pursuing funding opportunities to raise the capital.



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