National salute needed for Aussie Diggers

Federal and NSW State government funding will help achieve a $5.6 million salute to Australia’s war heroes in Sydney’s iconic Hyde Park.

The City of Sydney’s Plan of Management for Hyde Park (2006) identified that a water cascade, running from the back of the existing ANZAC Memorial towards Liverpool Street, should be investigated as it was part of the original memorial design.

The water cascade was included in the original plans for the ANZAC Memorial, designed in 1929 by Sydney architect, C. Bruce Dellit. But it was never built.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP said the water cascade would be a fitting tribute to all Australian men and women who have served during wartime.

“We need financial help for this vision to be fulfilled in time for the 75th anniversary of the ANZAC Memorial. That’s why I am appealing to the State and Federal Government to contribute to the project, which is of state and national significance,” Ms Moore said.

Ms Moore said the memorial would help us commemorate the past.

“This new memorial will acknowledge Australia’s military history and would see Bruce Dellit’s plans come full circle. Not only would it honour the men and women who served, but it would build a better memorial for the future and beautify a relatively unused part of Hyde Park.”

“The proposed construction of the new water cascade would be a fitting tribute to the sacrifice of our defence force personnel.”

The City is considering the feasibility of building the water cascade so that it is ready in time for November 2009, the 75th anniversary of the opening of the ANZAC Memorial.

“However for this idea to become a reality in time, all levels of government would have to play a part. I’ll be writing to the Prime Minister and to the Premier. We need their support, and they should contribute to this important project,” Ms Moore said.

The cascade includes a large rectangular water feature running from the War Memorial to Liverpool Street. A row of jets project water into the main body of the cascade, made of granite surfaces set at varying levels. The water flows into a shallow pool marked by a single jet of water.

As part of the drought proofing of Hyde Park the cascade is expected to use water from Busby’s Bore and the Cross City Tunnel.

A pedestrian footbridge could cross through the cascade to allow for the formal pathway of Hyde Park to continue and give visitors a close-up view. Lighting effects would be included to add to the experience of the Cascade at night.

NSW RSL president Don Rowe said the Hyde Park memorial was by far the most important and significant in NSW.

“As far as we are concerned this is the premier war memorial in NSW,” Mr Rowe said.

“The Federal and State Governments can help show they recognise the sacrifices made by Australian men and women in war by supporting this memorial.”

The City of Sydney Council is due to discuss the feasibility report and funding for the cascade at its meeting on 6 August.

History of the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park

  • On 25 April, 1916, the first anniversary of the landing of the Australian Forces at ANZAC Cove, a fund was opened to raise money to erect a permanent Memorial.
  • During 1923 the ANZAC Memorial (Building) Act was passed by the NSW Parliament and the decision was taken to erect the Memorial in Hyde Park. However, there was no further action until 1929.
  • A competition was held for the design of the Memorial and 117 entries were received from all over the world. On 9 July, 1930, first prize was awarded to Sydney architect, C. Bruce Dellit. The foundation stones were laid on 19 July 1932.
  • The building was completed in 1934. The Pool of Reflection was built when the Council of the City of Sydney was granted unemployment relief funds for the purpose.
  • The Memorial was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 24 November 1934 before almost 100,000 people.
  • In 1984 the ANZAC Memorial was rededicated as a memorial to all Australians who serve their country in war.

Media Contact: Duncan Fine 0410 335 258