HISTORIC: Duncan Chapman statue in Maryborough.
HISTORIC: Duncan Chapman statue in Maryborough. Alistair Brightman

Designs close to complete for Fraser Coast Military Trail

DESIGN options for the Fraser Coast Military Trail - Stage 2 are close to being finalised for presentation to the community and authorities controlling the heritage-listed Queen's Park.

Maryborough RSL Sub-branch CEO Jason Scanes said a Deed of Agreement had been signed with the Australian Government for funding under the National Stronger Regions Fund of $900,000.

The RSL had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Fraser Coast Regional Council, which is contracted to manage Stage 2, estimated to cost $3.2million.

The council is contributing $1 million to Stage 2, which will be the starting point for a military trail encompassing more than 20 Fraser Coast sites of military interest from Fraser Island to Brooweena.

Duncan Chapman Memorial Appeal Committee president Nancy Bates said the committee was working closely with Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders, who had made energetic and enthusiastic representations through State Government avenues to help with the next steps of the project.

"Maryborough has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to add a dynamic new heritage asset to the city. A new entrance to Queen's Park from Adelaide S has been recommended for more than 15 years and is a perfect fit for a memorial that will draw visitors from throughout Australia.

"Being able to design it as a World War 1 centennial memorial walk into the park, with its central feature a statue of the Maryborough man who was the first Anzac to step ashore at Gallipoli, has been fortuitous."

The new design was crafted to create an elegant and inspiring memorial that enhanced the park and did not detract from views of the undulating landscape.

A poignant trail of events from Gallipoli to Armistice, with descriptions in the words of front-line soldiers, would make a walk through the memorial entrance memorable and moving.

"Mr Saunders has put a persuasive case to Brisbane for the State Government to be the third senior partner in the Gallipoli to Armistice stage.

"We were heartened by the supportive comments of the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, when she visited Maryborough on May 6.

"The committee is hoping her government will put us in a strong position to move forward with tenders."