Councillors give hero statue nod

At an extraordinary meeting of council held last night, councillors unanimously voted to allow the development of the proposed Roy Inwood VC statue outside the RSL.

Statue development was approved with a number of conditions, and despite council’s planning manager’s recommendation to refuse the development application.

Seven conditions were placed on development of the statue, including an underground site survey prior to starting work, the issuing of a construction certificate, and a provision for the direction the statue will face.

Councillor Christine Adams introduced an eighth condition, that if the Broken Hill RSL branch ever closes, the cost of moving the statue be covered by the applicant.

Construction of the memorial statue has been fraught with controversy for the past few months, with local RSL president Des Kennedy at one point threatening to scrap the statue altogether if it couldn’t be placed outside the RSL.

“They wanted to put it in all different places and no way, it’s the Roy Inwood VC house so his statue goes there,” Mr Kennedy said.

“The conditions are reasonable, they’re just common sense, and I’ll be phoning the sculptor straight away.”

The statue of Broken Hill’s only Victoria Cross recipient, Roy Inwood, will be true to life and face west towards the War Memorial, with his statue site including an explanatory plaque and lighting.

Council has confirmed they will be relocating the bin in front of the RSL, as well as the heritage sign, to further down the street to create more room for the statue.

The bench, which was purchased by the RSL and is called Diggers Rest, will remain where it is.

“If I can get it done by Remembrance Day I’ll have it dedicated at 12 on the day of the service, and I think people will love it,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We’re ecstatic it’s on, but to me, why was there so much fuss in the first place?”

Mayor Darriea Turley said she was happy to see the issue resolved.

She said the majority of the conditions put on the statue are requirements under legislation, and shouldn’t affect construction or placement.

“I hope the applicant is pleased with the outcome, it’ll go back to them to discuss and we’ll see how we go,” she said.

“Let’s hope it’s in place to celebrate Remembrance Day.”