THE VISION of the late Ross Coulter, to transform part of Emu Park's foreshore into a place for reflection on Australia's defence of freedom, will become reality over the next 12 months.
With a symbolic breaking of ground on Friday, work started on the Emu Park Commemorative Precinct that will be the Capricorn Coast's flagship project as part of national celebrations to mark 100 years since the Anzac and British landings on the Turkish coastline in April, 1915.
A planned interpretive boardwalk around the headland, from Emu Park RSL Sub-branch to Fisherman's Beach, forms the centrepiece of the project that will bring governments and the private sector together to finance its progress.
The walkway will link the town centre and Bell Park with the RSL and cenotaph, via the Singing Ship.
Dignitaries including federal, state representatives, local government councillors and staff, company executives and RSL leaders gathered on Friday close to the headland and Emu Park RSL, in Tennent Memorial Dr, for the launch of the project.
Guest of honour Kate Coulter, wife of Mr Coulter, was on hand to participate in proceedings and join the turning of the first sod.
Livingstone Shire Council has committed $300,000 towards the project, while Member for Keppel Bruce Young secured $250,000 from the Queensland Government.
On the day, Ms Coulter accepted donations of $150,000 from Bendigo Community Bank's Emu Park branch manager Colleen Williams, $100,000 from HomeCorp Pty Ltd founder and chief executive officer Ron Bakir and donations valued at a combined $80,000 from the District RSL, Emu Park Sub-branch and Emu Park Lions Club.
These donations allowed work to start on the $1.2 million first stage of the project. Overall, the work will cost a total of about $2.5 million.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said the project had its genesis in the vision of the late Mr Coulter, an Emu Park resident and long-standing member of the local RSL Sub-branch, who created the plan for the project.
"The innovative project will enhance and transform the parkland area around the Emu Park RSL Club and headland foreshore," Cr Ludwig said.
The project is expected to be a tourist drawcard and also provide an educational resource for students on the history and heritage of Australia's armed forces.