‘Tin dunny’ an insult to Geraldton memorial site
A navy veteran involved in the HMAS Sydney II memorial in Geraldton has described the local council’s proposal to construct a “tin dunny” at the site as “shameful”.
Retired commodore Bob Trotter said the City of Greater Geraldton had breached its own policy, which he drafted in 2013, which requires additions to the site to be sympathetic with the existing design.
Mr Trotter said the council proposal for a $400,000 four-stall standard toilet block was out of kilter with the “magnificent” memorial and pilgrimage site.
He said the design was insensitive to the site’s purpose as a place to commemorate the loss of 645 brave Australians.
“The council is going with a tin dunny but they are totally aware of their conservation framework ... which requires any addition is considered against the design principles,” he said.
Furthermore, it had not been assessed under the Military Memorials of National Significance Act.
Mr Trotter said the council was obliged to consider a proposal from its memorial advisory committee in conjunction with the original architects.
But the council has already dismissed the $1.2 million design as too expensive, with one councillor earlier claiming it was not worth spending “a million bucks on a grandiose toilet.”
Mr Trotter said the architects for the cheaper design were not even familiar with the ship.
“They have included a mural featuring the World War I HMAS Sydney, rather than World War II HMAS Sydney II,” he said.
Mr Trotter, who was involved in the discovery of the ship off WA in 2008, said he was in regular contact with 300 families who lost relatives when the ship went down in battle in 1941.
“I know that they would be extremely disappointed with the way the council is managing this issue,” he said.
Geraldton council could not be contacted yesterday.
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