Anzac Day service moves
BREAKING from a long tradition, Coolangatta will not have an Anzac Day dawn service this year.
Queen Elizabeth Park is in the midst of upgrade, so next month's dawn service will be held at Chris Cunningham Park in Tweed Heads.
Tweed Heads and Coolangatta RSL sub-branch president Joe Russell said the public would be well- informed of the temporary venue change in the lead-up to Anzac Day.
Last year's dawn service attracted thousands of people from both sides of the state border.
Many people took advantage of the ceremony location by watching it from the balconies of surrounding high-rises.
But while some people might be inconvenienced by the shift to Tweed Heads, Mr Russell said it would pay off in the long term.
“We are happy about what is happening, and the service will be right next to Twin Towns (Services Club),” he said.
“There shouldn't be any problems. We have known about this since about June last year, so it is not like it has been sprung on us.
“We have been in consultation with council for a while.”
Mr Russell said it would be the first time in a long time the service would not be held in its regular spot.
The renovations will see the war memorial relocated to a more prominent position within the Marine Par- ade park and situated in a purpose-built plaza, council says.
Gold Coast divisional councillor Chris Robbins said the monument was also undergoing cleaning and restoration work.
“It was hoped the new memorial could be unveiled for Anzac Day, however restorative work is expected to be completed by May 2009,” Ms Robbins said.
“Council has been communicating with the RSL to ensure they have an alternative site for their Anzac Day dawn ceremony.”
The renovations come as part of council's Coolangatta-to-Bilinga Foreshore Masterplan.
Others who use the land say they too received extensive consultation from council before the work began.
Wintersun director Barry McNa- mara has been assured it will be complete by the start of this year's festival.
“I am very happy with the way council has worked on this,” Mr McNamara said.
“The level of consultation and understanding of the local community has been really genuine.”
Likewise, Tony Marcovich, owner of the Coolangatta Beach Carnival, said his business will not be affected.
“We were consulted as far as the power and water situations and what we needed on the site,” he said.