Petition: Save Kangaroo Ground Tower
By Ben Ramcharan, candidate for Nillumbik Council
16/09/2020 – See the latest update here.
Kangaroo Ground Memorial Tower is an iconic landmark which is loved by the whole community. The Shire of Eltham Memorial Park was purchased in the memory of those who enlisted in the First World War in 1914 and the War Memorial Tower, paid for by the community, was dedicated to those who died in war and opened on 11/11/1926. The surrounding park was created through the hard work and good will of the community of the Shire of Eltham. It’s a true community asset but right now, it is under threat.
The Moor-rul Viewing Platform could be torn down and a major access road built through Reconciliation Grasslands at huge cost to Nilumbik’s ratepayers. Sign now and tell Nillumbik Council to leave Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Park alone!
Early this year, Nillumbik Council asked the community what they wanted to see from a master plan for the tower. It was a chance for us to invest in preserving everything we love about the tower and many members of the community were excited to make comments and suggestions on the project.
But Council did not take the community’s views on board. They have now developed a master plan which proposes to tear down the Moor-rul Viewing Platform and build a major entrance road through what is currently a stunning hillside. The community asked for the existing entrance road to be improved, as it needs to be. They did not ask for a whole new road to be built, tearing through the Reconciliation Grasslands to the side of the tower.
Council plans to build a roadway on the Reconciliation Grasslands by Kangaroo Ground Tower and tear down the Moor-rul Viewing Platform at huge cost to ratepayers.
The plan will also see the Caretaker’s Residence removed to build a turnaround point for buses, which will have to drive through what is currently the Reconciliation Grasslands.
The Moor-rul Viewing Platform provides a peaceful and tranquil place to sit and enjoy the incredible views from the top of Kangaroo Ground without even having to climb the tower. Display panels exist around it, placed perfectly so as not to obstruct the stunning view.
The display panels, which have recently been removed for maintenance, recognise the rich Aboriginal heritage of our area. We need to work with the Wurundjeri Council to bring them back. To tear the structure down altogether would be a huge insult to Nillumbik’s Traditional Owners.
This is not what the community asked for. We DO want a master plan for the tower. We DO want council to maintain the park on an ongoing basis. What we DON’T want is for the peace and tranquility of the memorial park to be destroyed.
This master plan is expensive, unnecessary and will destroy a valued community asset. Sign the petition now and tell Nillumbik Council to abandon the master plan and instead work with stakeholders including the local community, Friends of Kangaroo Ground War Memorial Park, Andrew Ross Museum, Nillumbik Reconciliation Group and local RSLs to create a plan that will:
- Improve the existing entry road at a much cheaper cost than building an entirely new road
- Save and maintain the Moor-rul Viewing platform including bringing back the information boards to recognise the area’s Aboriginal heritage
- Implement ongoing maintenance including cleaning graffiti, repairing vandalism and fixing leaks in the roof of the Viewing Platform
- Make the tower available to the community at nighttime during astronomical events such as lunar eclipses and meteor showers
- Retain the true meaning of the tower as a war memorial