Goulburn's Anzac Day commemorations will go ahead this year under COVID-19 restrictions, much to the RSL Sub Branch's relief.
But both the dawn and mid-morning services will again be held in Belmore Park, despite completion of Rocky Hill War Memorial's upgrade.
Goulburn RSL Sub Branch president Gordon Wade met with the Mayor Bob Kirk and council management on Thursday to discuss arrangements.
"At this point the council and police have given in-principle support for Anzac Day to go ahead subject to the current restrictions that include one person per two square metres," he said.
However it will mean several changes. The usual march along Auburn Street will be for veterans only and not other community groups and schools. Mr Wade said about 60 veterans from the various campaigns would participate along a possibly shortened route, pending further discussions.
While the community can watch the march, police will ensure people adhere to social distancing.
Crowds are also welcome at the dawn and mid-morning services but must stay outside a roped off area around the Honour Roll. This zone will have seating for 20 to 30 people, including guests and Sub Branch members. A QR code will be available for scanning but the Sub Branch will also electronically record details of those without mobile phones.
"In country areas we're allowed to have up to 3000 people but outside the roped off area there can't be more than one person per two square metres," Mr Wade said.
Again, police will enforce this restriction.
Air Force Squadron Leader Steve Laredo will deliver the mid-morning address.
The event's staging is a welcome change from last year's arrangements. Residents were forced to hold private driveway commemorations due to coronavirus risks. Mr Wade encouraged people who didn't feel comfortable attending official services this year to do the same.
"(At least) we will have an event that the citizens of Goulburn can take part in," he said.
Despite Rocky Hill War Memorial's upgrade being completed earlier last year, Anzac services have not returned to the 'spiritual home.' The work included an expanded carpark and forecourt area, as well as a new museum.
Mr Wade said while he personally felt Rocky Hill was the best place for a dawn service, public liability insurance remained a problem for any mishap that occurred outside a set area.
"I'd prefer to have it on Rocky Hill but it can't take 1000 people. If we were sure we could restrict the numbers, we'd do it," he said.
"...Our long-term plan is to have it there when we can organise things a bit better."
- Veterans requiring assistance to attend the Anzac Day march and commemorations can contact the Sub Branch on 4821 6292.
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