Claims war animal memorial an insult to 'sacred ground'

Is one memorial to war animals enough for Toowoomba?
Is one memorial to war animals enough for Toowoomba? Chris Calcino

HOW many memorials to animals killed in war does Toowoomba really need, and is the Mothers' Memorial a suitable location?

Those were questions floating around the council chambers yesterday over a request to build a State War Animal Memorial statue in Toowoomba.

The proposal included a concept drawing of a 2.5m-tall Light Horseman with two animals "to represent all animals that the Australian Defence Forces have used throughout history".

If approved, it would be the only war animal memorial of state significance in Queensland.

Unfortunately, the offer came a few months too late - council officially unveiled the city's first memorial to fallen war animals at Newtown Park in June.

Premier Campbell Newman has backed the plan, but only if the Mothers' Memorial is the chosen location.

Cr Sue Englart argued passionately against the "sacred ground" being used to commemorate animals.

Her father served in the Second World War.

"It diminishes why the mothers who lost their sons in war sold violets and built this memorial penny by penny.

"We've already got a war animal memorial, and a very nice one."

Would you like to see a memorial to war animals at the Mothers' Memorial?

This poll ended on 09 November 2013.

Current Results

Yes

60%

No

39%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Cr Carol Taylor led the charge in support of the statue, citing the thousands of human lives saved by bomb-sniffing dogs in Afghanistan.

In what is likely a first for a Toowoomba Regional Council meeting, Cr Taylor quoted father of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi.

"The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated," Cr Taylor said.

The majority of councillors voted in favour of supporting the memorial's construction, though further discussion with RSL groups will influence the final decision next week.



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