Bali Peace Park Still a Car Park as Deadline Nears
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