Hydeaway Bay’s request for Anzac memorial divides council
A request to install a new Anzac memorial at Hydeaway Bay has divided Whitsunday councillors, with the proposal ultimately being refused despite a community group offering to cover the costs.
The Hydeaway Bay Progress Association asked the council for approval to create the new memorial on the Hydeaway Bay foreshore.
A recommendation was brought before the council on Wednesday to refuse the request because of the proposed memorial's close proximity to the existing Anzac Memorial at Dingo Beach, which is 1.5km away as the crow flies but about 7km to drive.
Division 5 councillor Gary Simpson was one of two councillors to vote against the recommendation.
Cr Simpson addressed the meeting, saying the Hydeaway Bay community had been holding ceremonies at the site since 2009 and had offered to pay for the memorial.
"I know it's easy to read the report and say it's only 1.5km," Cr Simpson said.
"I've been told they'll continue to have Anzac service at Hydeaway Bay regardless of whether council allows to put the structure out there.
"The town doesn't get a real lot of services provided from council."
Division 6 councillor Mike Brunker disagreed, saying the importance of war memorials meant you did not have them "willy nilly all over the place".
"It's great these people want to have a celebration down there to remember a particular day," Cr Brunker said.
"There is one around the corner.
"My biggest fear is then every little community around the place wants one."
Mayor Andrew Willcox was also concerned other smaller communities in the Whitsundays may also put their hands up for a memorial if the request was approved.
"What concerns me is if we have more of these around the place we dilute these services and they won't carry as much punch," Cr Willcox said.
"I feel for the people at Hydeaway Bay but I feel they should travel and support the one that's right next door."
As about 50 people attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Hydeaway Bay, Cr Simpson confirmed the community would still be able to hold the service if its request for a memorial was refused.
Five Whitsunday councillors voted to refuse the memorial request, while two councillors - Gary Simpson and John Collins - did not support the refusal.