Tweed's Anzac fountain set to be replaced

LEST WE FORGET: Debate over what to do with the memorial fountain at Chris Cunningham Park as the council and RSL decide on whether to replace the fountain with a memorial wall and garden.
LEST WE FORGET: Debate over what to do with the memorial fountain at Chris Cunningham Park as the council and RSL decide on whether to replace the fountain with a memorial wall and garden. Scott Davis

A LONGSTANDING tradition of gathering around the Tweed Heads memorial fountain on Anzac Day may be over as plans to replace the broken monument get under way.

While neither the Tweed Shire Council nor Tweed Heads and Coolangatta RSL sub-branch has claimed ownership of the fountain, which has fallen into disrepair with plumbing issues, the two groups met on Monday to discuss the future of the iconic monument.

Council recreation services unit co-ordinator Matt McCann said Monday's meeting was very positive, with both groups looking at future alternatives to replace the broken memorial fountain in Chris Cunningham Park.

"Council met with the sub-branch on Monday and it was agreed that the fountain is not sustainable in its current state and has reached the end of its life,” Mr McCann said.

"Council is going to work on concept designs for a memorial wall.”

Mr McCann said the RSL would look at financing the project.

"The sub-branch was going to go away and explore other funding opportunities,” he said.

But Tweed Heads Coolangatta sub-branch RSL president Joe Russell said there had been no decision made on who would pay for the works.

"The finances have not been discussed at this time,” he said. Mr Russell said the RSL would work closely with the council to ensure the new monument was appropriate for the Chris Cunningham Park location.

"The council's parks and gardens (staff) are going to draw up numerous designs that are fitting for the park, incorporating the water views, and will be sitting down with the RSL to choose the most fitting for the ex-service community of the Tweed region,” he said.

"It looks like a win-win for the community and the ex-service community.”

But many people voiced their disappointment about the current state of the fountain on social media this week, with plenty calling for the council and RSL to repair the monument out of respect for those who served.

Tweed resident Kyl Churchill wrote on Facebook he thought either council or the RSL should repair the fountain.

"One of them (should) just do the right thing and fix it,” Mr Churchill said.

"Don't think the Anzacs stood there arguing about who was going to protect the frontline.”

Josh O'Brien agreed, but said both groups should pay for the repair.

"Both parties should halve the cost and fix it,” Mr O'Brien said. "Why demolish a reminder of men and women who've paid the ultimate price for your freedom?”

Some users even suggested the community pitch in if council and the RSL weren't willing to fund the repairs.

"Maybe a few tradies could band together and do it as goodwill for the community,” Jay Wright wrote.

Topics:  anzac memorial tweed shire council

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