DIVIDED: The Gawler South statue which has created a war of its own.For a statue, the Gawler South World War One memorial on Adelaide Road, has created a lot of movement and aggravation.
The Town of Gawler Council last night met to discuss an update on the original discussion to relocate the monument to Pioneer Park.
Adding intrigue to the issue is that the matter went before a group of new councillors who were only recently elected and whose opinions on the issue had not been tested.
In a recommendation to council by Joel Taggart, team leader development services, the new councillors were basically told how staff had dug the trenches for the monument to stay put.
The recommendation stated in light of the Council Development Assessment Panel assessing the planning merits of the development application and refusing consent for a statue relocation, that council no longer supports the proposed relocation of the memorial to Pioneer Park.
Also that the Gawler RSL sub-branch be advised of council’s position and also instruct its solicitors to advise the Environment, Resources and Development (ERD) Court that, as a consequence, the appeal proceedings brought by the RSL are for a hypothetical development.
Henry Inat, chief executive of the Town of Gawler, said the report also recommended council working with the Gawler RSL sub-branch and other interested stakeholders in developing an improved memorial site at Pioneer Park.
“The council believes the statue on Adelaide Road is council property on council land,” Mr Inat said. “After the process so far, it is apparent that a majority of people want the memorial to stay where it is and that is council’s view.”
However, local member of parliament Tony Piccolo believes council has “gone to war”.
Mr Piccolo, who spoke at the ERD last week on behalf of the council, asked to address council last night (Tuesday) and because he was interstate on business, it was arranged for him to speak to councillors via Skype.
Speaking to the Herald before the meeting, Mr Piccolo said he would be asking council to honour the commitment it made in October 2013.
“I will be asking council not to pull the rug from under local veterans,” Mr Piccolo said.
“Council has to respect the process.
“The issue is not whether the memorial should be moved or not as the ERD court will decide the merits of the case. “Tonight (Tuesday) council will have the opportunity to make a fair and honourable decision or one which would suggest the council can’t be trusted to keep its promises.”
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