A long-awaited decision on the site of the multi-million dollar Anzac Interpretive Centre has been confirmed after a committee meeting earlier this week.
The centre, which is expected to open before the Anzac centenary anniversary in November 2014, will be built on a site adjacent to the sub-mariners lookout in the forts precinct, rather than atop Mt Adelaide as was originally planned.
Premier Colin Barnett last month rejected the Mt Adelaide site, choosing the area near the forts precinct looking south over the Ataturk Channel as the State Government’s preferred site.
RSL State President Graham Edwards welcomed the decision.
“What I am very positive about is the centre will now proceed and it will proceed on time,” he said.
He said the committee had decided on the alternative site because it already had an access road and car park and was near the cafe and reception centre at the forts.
Money that would have been spent on those facilities can now be put into the interpretive, commemorative and educative components of the centre.
But Albany RSL branch President Peter Aspinall said he was disappointed the chance to build the centre in its original design had now been lost.
He said it meant parts of the re-enactment planned for September 2014 commemorating the centenary of the formation of an Anzac fleet would be lost.
“The Anzac centre was designed to allow people who had forebears who were on those ships back in 1914 to be able to stand in a location and actually see where their great-great-grandfather or uncle was actually moored,” Mr Aspinall said. “If it’s not up on that top site one whole line of ships will not be visible.”Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the chosen site also has a direct view over Ataturk Channel and good views of King George Sound.