Project History

This information will be updated by Barry Vains as details become available

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In late 2010, Tom Upton, the General Manager Community Services of the Rockhampton Regional Council, set up a Working Party – War Memorials in the Rockhampton Region. The Emu Park RSL Sub Branch President(Barry Vains) was appointed to the Working Party.

The Working Party met for the first time on Monday 15 August 2011 and during that meeting a discussion was held on what the Rockhampton region would do for the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015. As a result of this discussion, the matter of a Centenary of ANZAC Project for the Emu Park RSL was then raised at a subsequent general meeting of the Sub Branch.

As a result of this discussion, long standing member of the Sub – Branch and resident of Emu Park, Ross Coulter, designed a concept plan for the development of the Emu Park fore shore in the vicinity of the RSL Memorial Hall and the Singing Ship. The concept plan was adopted by the Sub Branch as a proposed Centenary of ANZAC Project.

At the suggestion of Tom Upton, the Sub Branch President and Ross Coulter made a presentation of the concept plan to the Parks and Recreation Committee of the Rockhampton Regional Council on Tuesday 1 November 2011 and received a good response from councillors. Sadly, Ross died days after he made this presentation.

The strategy agreed with Mr Upton to have the project progress was to have the project costed and then seek State and Federal government funding for the project.

Since Ross ‘ death in early November 2011, the Sub Branch has been able to undertake the following:

1. The President met with the then State Member for Keppel, Paul Hoolihan in December 2011 and gained his support for the project.

2. Together with then local Councillor, Brett Svendsen, the
President met with the Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten
Livermore on Tues
day 31 January 2012. Kirsten was impressed with the project concept and undertook when next in Canberra to talk to the Minister for Veterans Affairs about details of the funding for Centenary of ANZAC projects and what type of projects would be eligible for funding.

3. Together with then local Councillor, Brett Svendsen, the President met with the Acting General Manager Community Services, Michael Rowe from the Rockhampton Regional Council on Thursday 9 February 2012. This meeting was arranged as Tom Upton had left the General Manager Community Services position. Mr Rowe advised at the meeting that he was up to speed with the proposed project and agreed to have a costing of the project done. Mr Rowe requested that the Emu Park RSL Sub Branch:

Undertake community consultation to gauge the level of support for the project.
Seek letters of support from community groups and local politicians for the project(copy of letter sent attached)

4. On 16 February 2012, the President, with Sub Branch Treasurer met with the Manager of the Bendigo Bank, Denise Weise, and sought the following from the Bank:
. Bank Board’s support for the project. Permission to display the project concept plan in Bank’s foyer for members of the public to inspect and sign a Project Support Register if they so desire.
This support for the project was granted and since then the Emu Park community has shown overwhelming support for the project. The Sub Branch has also taken advantage of a number of opportunities to explain the concept plan to community groups.

5. The President has met with the new State Member for Keppel, Bruce Young and he has pledged his support for the project in any way he can.

6. The President has written to new Mayor of the Rockhampton Regional Council, Margaret Strelow, and new local Councillor, Tom Wyatt informing them of the proposed project.

7. Federal Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore has made contact with the President and suggested that the Council apply for funds for the project through the Regional Grant Scheme. She advised that there will be 3 rounds of funding called in the next 18 months.

8. On 9 July 2012 the President sent an email to Mr Rowe at the Rockhampton Regional Council(copy attached). By the 17 August 2012, Mr Rowe had not responded to the Presiden ’s email and a reminder was sent(see copy).

9. The President has spoken to local Councillor, Tom Wyatt, about Mr Rowe’s lack of response to the President’s emails and it now seems that Mr Rowe says that he never agreed to cost the project. The fact that he did could easily be confirmed by contacting previous local Councillor, Brett Svendsen.

10. On Thursday 11 October 2012, the President meet with local Rockhampton Regional Council councillor, Tom Wyatt and provided Tom with a copy of this document and other relevant documentation so Tom could understand the history of the Project. Tom is to endeavour to have project costed and taken to Council. Tom asked for a copy of the project concept plan and this has been provided.

11. Mr Wyatt efforts resulted in the Rockhampton Regional Council resolving at Council meeting on 13 November 2012 to provide in principle support through the development of concept designs and cost estimates to facilitate the Emu Park RSL’s application for funding from the Federal Government(see letter attached).

12. On 6 February 2013, Mr Vains and Tom Wyatt met directors of the Bendigo Bank and they pledged in principle support for the Project(see letter attached)

13. On the 11 March 2013, a meeting was held with Michelle Landry, LNP Candidate for the Federal seat of Capricornia, State Member for Keppel, Bruce Young, and Councellor Tom Wyatt to discuss funding for the project. Michelle advised that she would need a costing before she can talk to her contacts in Canberra. Project concept plans were made available to Michelle.

14. On 7 April 2013, contact was made with Peter Freeleagus, the Federal Candidate for Capricornia and the project was discussed. A copy of project concept plans were sent to him.

15. On the 17 April 2013, the Rockhampton Regional Council provided the concept design and costing for the project and a copy was provided to Michelle Landry and Peter Freeleagus.

16. On Monday 20May 2013, Lance Cummings, a Director of the Emu Park Bendigo Bank, and Mr Vains, met with the Federal LNP Candidate for Capricornia, Michelle Landry to discuss funding for the project. Mr Vains provided Michelle with details for the project and answered questions she had. Michelle is to provide details to her people in Canberra.

17. On Friday 31 May 2013, a meeting was held with Councillors, Tom Wyatt, Bill Ludwig, and Glenda Mather of the Rockhampton Regional Council. Greg Thomasson from the Bendigo Bank was also there. A Steering Committee to drive the project was set up and it was decided that fundraising for the project be undertaken.
Local Structural Engineer, Graham Scott has agreed to join the Steering Committee. The committee will meet fortnightly.

18. On Friday 7 June 2013, Mr Vains met with Federal LNP Candidate for Capricornia, Michelle Landry and Senator Ian McDonald in Rockhampton to discuss federal funding for the project. Mr Vains received a really good hearing and Senator McDonald was very impressed with the proposed project. Michelle is to make arrangements for other members of the Federal Opposition to visit the proposed site in the coming weeks.

Barry Vains
Emu Park RSL Sub Branch
28 May 2013

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