Bali Peace Park Still a Car Park as Deadline Nears

New Use: The bombed-out site has for years been a car park. (Photo: The Bali Times)

PERTH

The Bali Peace Park Association — which wants to build a memorial and “reflection centre” on the Sari Club site opposite the Bomb Memorial in Legian — won’t be meeting its October deadlines to come up with the money it needs to finance the scheme or make a definitive announcement.

Association president Nick Way, a television journalist in Perth, told The Bali Times this week there would now instead be a launch of the “Bali Peace Park Project” in Bali later this year.

But Way said he would be in Bali for the October 12 commemoration of the 2002 bombing attributed to elements of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network of Osama bin Laden.

Earlier this year the association won tax-exempt status as a charity, a mechanism that allows donors to claim their payments against tax liability. The bombed site is still being used as a car park, as well as a temporary storage location for equipment being used for roadworks on Jl Legian.

It had long said it was hamstrung in getting financial support without this facility. The Australian parliament agreed to a special regulation so that the association, which does not meet the normal rules for exemption because its funds will be spent overseas, could attract necessary financial support.

Way said this week details of funds raised were confidential and details of any major commercial sponsors would not be released.

He told The Bali Times:

“The majority of the acquisition cost has been confidentially pledged to the association upon finalisation of the sale negotiations. No major public fundraising campaign will be undertaken until the land [is] secured.

“Following this, public fundraising and approaches to various philanthropic funds will be carried out to meet any additional costs above the current pledged funds.”

He said the association was lobbying politicians in Australia and the West Australian state government for further funding and support.

The association released concept plans for its “peace park” on the Sari site months ago. They were prepared by Australian landscape gardener Michael White, also known as Made Wijaya, who lives in Bali.

Way also refused to reveal what might have been discussed with Governor I Made Mangku Pastika — a long-term supporter of the peace park concept — in relation to land acquisition.

“The governor remains highly supportive of the project and has met association members on a number of occasions. The nature of these discussions, however, remains confidential,” he said.

But he did say the association had met representatives of the land owner — a Jakarta businessman — to begin negotiations about acquisition and that Bali government officials had been present.

The association’s locally based representative and legal adviser is Peter Johnson, a West Australian lawyer who operates a large Kuta law firm.

The Sari site is owned by a Jakarta businessman. Earlier this year a Bali entrepreneur took it over on a 15-plus-15-year lease and announced plans to build a restaurant and bar complex there.

Filed under: Headlines

10 Responses to “Bali Peace Park Still a Car Park as Deadline Nears”

  1. Julie Says:

    My question to the Association and Peter Johnson is to why Mr Finn was really asked to sign a Power of Attorney over to Peter Johnson, how much money is this person going to make from this deal.

  2. Carrie Says:

    I have just seen the new website balipeacepark.asia
    clearly it makes sense to move the park to another site as it is not a memorial as the Australians seem to think and why waste millions, when it could be spent else where in Bali. Its really only a few Australians after 7 years that decided to do something now, what a joke and how morally wrong is it to spend that sought of money,especially after the financial crisis.

  3. David Peterson Says:

    It all sounds a bit dodgey, what is the Association hiding and the meetings with Pastika remain confidental….what sort of kick back is he getting from the Australian Government? Why hasnt the Governor made a a public statement it always comes from a third party! The public have a right to know especially when it comes to fundraising.

  4. Janice Wijaya Says:

    I have to agree move the park to somewhere else this will only turn into a shrine for the Australians, Im with Pak Dallas on this one the Association and it members must justify the spending of millions of dollars when you look around Bali and see what could be done.

  5. Bintang Tom Says:

    What a great idea move the park to somewhere more suitable and the question here why is the Australian Government now involved this comes back to the Balinese not the Australians nor the Association, Nick Way needs to understand this is not about a small number of Australians whom think they can just walk in there and tell them what to do, Mr Finn and the community group have hit the nail on the head how can you spend that sort of money in this day and age with poverty etc your a disgrace to the international community and why has the Balinese community not been consulted on this, the Australians should not be driving the peace park, this clearly stinks of politics and corruption here.

  6. Paul Says:

    It will never be a peace park, move on ! This will just go around in circles its Indonesia.

  7. Habib Says:

    It should be called the Bali memorial carpark.

  8. Sumatra Says:

    Don’t trust Peter Johnson….I agree with Jill, Johnson stands to make a lot of money out of this….he doesn’t do anything for nothing.

  9. Habib Says:

    Totally agree PeterJohnson is more corrupt then the Indonesians, I had his law firm do up some contracts only to find they were not legally binding, went to another after that he cost me alot money what a prick!

  10. Terry Says:

    Your right Johnson is a thieving price he constantly rip-off Australian government or anyone he does buisnesss with