DUE to the increasing number of people attending Anzac Day services in Ballina, there are now plans to move the cenotaph at the RSL Memorial Park.
But before the cenotaph can be moved, Ballina Shire Council has to sign off on a land swap with the Ballina RSL Club. The council's reserve trust committee has already given in-principle support for the land deal.
President of the Ballina RSL Sub-Branch Bill Moore said attendances at Anzac Day services had increased over the past few years, particularly with more school children getting involved in the services as the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli landing nears.
But he said the current location of the cenotaph in the centre of the RSL Memorial Park made it difficult to accommodate those who wanted to pay their respects, and many had to stand in the carpark.
The Ballina RSL Club owns a section of riverside land at the western end of the park, and the club has proposed swapping that land (currently used for car parking) with a triangle-shaped section of the public park of the same size at the north-eastern corner of the park.
If Ballina Shire Council agrees to the deal, the park can be extended to the west and the cenotaph can then be moved there.
Mr Moore said the land swap would "square-off" the park, making it easier to organise the crowds attending Anzac Day services and other memorial services throughout the year.
Chairman of the Ballina RSL Club Gary Hooley said the land swap would be a "win-win" as it would give the community more publicly owned riverside land, while allowing the club to maintain car parking spaces.
The sub-branch has been working closely with the council staff on the proposed redevelopment of the park.
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