April 23, 2021
A bronze statue of a World War II digger was unveiled on Friday morning at the Goomeri Memorial Clock, just in time for Sunday’s Anzac Day commemorations.
The $43,950 statue was unveiled by Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien and David Pitstock, from the Goomeri chapter of the Murgon RSL Sub-Branch.
Funding for the project came from the Federal Government’s “Saluting Their Service” commemorative grants program.
The statue has been mounted in front of Goomeri’s “Lest We Forget” town clock memorial which was dedicated in 1940, while World War II was still raging.
Mr O’Brien congratulated the Goomeri residents who had initiated the project, and singled out Kim Boyter and Liz Williamson for praise for writing the funding application.
“We don’t celebrate war, that is obvious,” Mr O’Brien said. “What we do is acknowledge the incredible sacrifice that has been made by our serving and former defence force personnel.”
But he told the crowd it was also important to look after the veterans that were still with us.
Mr O’Brien said he had threatened to “cross the floor” in Federal Parliament to ensure a Royal Commission into veteran suicides was held.
“We entered into a covenant with our veterans that we would give them the highest standard of care, the highest standard of service, post them giving us their highest standard of service to keep us safe, to help us prosper,” Mr O’Brien said.
On April 19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission would be held.
Mr O’Brien said the terms of reference were now being considered.