Thank you Chair.

I rise to speak in support of Item C – the request for Council to name the picnic area at the entrance to JC Slaughter Falls, Mount Coot-tha to “Camp Coot-tha Place”.

Local history buffs are aware of the very important role Mount Coot-tha played in the allies war effort during World War 2.

Eighty years ago today, planning was well underway for the US Navy to formally take control of the Mt Coot-tha reserve.

Essentially, it was used as a torpedo assembly facility which they called “Camp Coot-tha”. By the end of the war, “Camp Coot-tha” had handled a total of 120,000 tonnes of explosives.

Our role in the war effort came about largely as a result of the Brisbane-born, first American Ambassador, Richard Casey.

His efforts saw the Pensacola Convoy berth at Hamilton a mere 15 days after the attack on Pearl Harbour.

And in 1943, especially after the sinking of the Centaur off the Sunshine Coast,

“Camp Coot-tha” gave the submarines fighting the imperial naval force the strategic weapons they needed to take the battle to the front- line.

Very effectively too, I might add.

As part of the war effort, the US Naval Construction Battalions, otherwise known as the “Seabees” were also busy building roads, bridges and other structures, a number of which can still be seen today at the JC Slaughter Falls Picnic area.

As an aside Chair, the “Seabees” motto was “Can Do” and they certainly left their mark at Mount Coot-tha.

Hence the reference and significance of this particular park entrance in this petition.

Chair, recognising “Camp Coot-tha” and honouring those men and women who served during the World 2 is something the Schrinner Council has done very well and that we’re proud of.

Its also important we do are doing this now as a salute to those remaining World War 2 veterans.

Chair, I’ve spoken before this in Chamber about another Council initiative at Mount Coot-tha, the revitalised National Australia Remembers Freedom Wall.

This was a project driven by the then Veterans Affairs Minister, Con Sciacca and we on this side acknowledge that he genuinely cared and was passionate about our returned servicemen and women.

On the 11th November 1995, Minister Sciacca and the then Lord Mayor laid a Foundation Stone at the location where the Wall now stands.

But less than a year later, prior to the completion of the Wall, the Stone went missing. Despite the best efforts of Botantical Gardens staff, they haven’t been able to find it and trying to locate its whereabouts elsewhere remains a mystery today.

All sorts of theories abound but I won’t go into them other than to say that the one person who might be able to answer that question is Cr. Cassidy’s political hero, Jim Soorley.

If he can help us find it, that would be great because the Stone needs to return to its rightful home at Mount Coot-tha.

Chair, the 50th Anniversary VP Day Memorial Wall is a hop, skip and a jump away from the proposed “Camp Coot-tha” Place.

This naming will be the first step not only in discovering the 30 odd kilometres of trails at Mt Coot-tha, but in discovering our city’s wonderful history.

And as the Councillor representing Mount Coot-tha, this is something I am very excited about.

Thank you.