Libs pledge $550,000 ‘viewing and contemplation’ platform

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Email Geoff Vivian
Liberal candidate for Geraldton Rob Dines and WA Liberals leader Zac Kirkup at the HMAS Sydney II memorial on Wednesday December 23 2020.
Camera IconLiberal candidate for Geraldton Rob Dines and WA Liberals leader Zac Kirkup at the HMAS Sydney II memorial on Wednesday December 23 2020. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Geoff Vivian

Geraldton is promised a $550,000 two-level viewing platform at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial should the Liberals win the March 13 State Election.

WA Liberals leader Zak Kirkup and candidate for Geraldton Rob Dines made the promise today, saying the Rotary Club of Geraldton proposal would make a “tremendous addition” to the world-class memorial.

“The HMAS Sydney II Memorial is a significant site commemorating the greatest single tragedy in Australian naval history,” Mr Kirkup said.

“The addition of the Contemplation Area and Viewing Platform will enrich the experience for the local, national and international visitors it attracts.”

Mr Dines said the design would feature enclosed seating for visitors, a viewing platform, and dedicated space for the Geraldton Voluntary Tour Guides Association.

“There is currently no sheltered area for visitors or guides to meet and contemplate the significance of the memorial, which is exposed to the elements on Mount Scott, the highest point in Geraldton,” he said.

“The planned addition will allow more visitors to enjoy the full experience of the memorial and provide a sheltered area for the guides, who lead tours at the site 364 days of the year.”

The memorial’s warden Don Rolston said it was important to recognise the monument’s international significance.

“When visitors come here (they should) get the support and the facilities that they would expect if they were at a similar site anywhere else in the world.”

In Australia’s worst naval disaster, HMAS Sydney II sank following a battle with the German raider HSK Kormoran off the Mid West coast in 1941 with 645 crew aboard. The memorial was a Rotary Club of Geraldton project designed by sculptors Charles Smith and Joan Walsh-Smith.

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