Flashback Friday | Community outrage kills off 1989 plan to dig up Cronulla's war memorial park

Public outrage killed off a council proposal in 1989 to dig up Monro Park in Cronulla to build a car park.

Among those to protest was Dorothy Monro, 87, the widow of Cecil (Joe) Monro, who played a major role in opening up Sutherland Shire, and after whom the park was named.

Under the $1.5 million plan, the site would have been excavated, the car park built into the ground and the park reinstated on top.

The council said it would be similar to the plan adopted for the Domain parking station in the City.

However, residents and the RSL strongly opposed disturbing the park containing the war memorial, which had been relocated from its previous position on Kingsway.

Many believed the war memorial and the established palm and fig trees would be jeopardised if removed, stored and replaced on a new structure.

Mrs Monro recalled the ceremony 50 years earlier when the Governor visited the then-sleepy seaside village of Cronulla to dedicate the small park which was later named after her husband.

Shire president Michael Tynan, who moved that the proposal in the Draft Development Control Plan be scrapped, said it had caused uncertainty and controversy within the community.

“Monro Park is an area of considerable significance and the very thought of disturbing this park in any way has provided an angry response from many in the community,” he said.

The car park proposal was made in conjunction with the 1988 official opening of Cronulla Bicentenary Plaza (the mall) and the council’s other initiatives to breathe new life into Cronulla.


Every Friday we delve into the Leader archives to embark on some time travel.

We will bring you photographs of a news event from 57 years of Leader news coverage that you may or may not recall.

Flashback Friday submissions are also welcomed.

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