Residents of Campbell and Reid provided a timely reminder of the passionate views shared about the proposed redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial at a community consultation on Wednesday.
As artist renderings of the initial stage of the redevelopment, an extension to car parking in readiness for the much larger $498 million project, were displayed at a "drop-in session", several local residents used the opportunity to express strong, forthright views about the need for a much broader consultation.
Disgruntled residents described the proposed major redevelopment in unflattering terms and were "appalled" at its scale.
They also urged a national conversation about the broader plan which is feared may affect the dignity of the site.
"A bigger Australian War Memorial is not necessarily a better one," Campbell resident Bethan Taylor said.
"There doesn't need to be more and more war exhibits.
"There needs to be more respect shown for this amazing site and for this beautiful building which has stood the test of time and is known and loved across our country."
On display was the first stage of the proposed redevelopment which will be a site excavation followed by construction works to allow parking for 118 vehicles underground, and 120 above at the rear of Poppy's Cafe.
The above-ground parking lot will be temporary, and specifically for contractors working on the much bigger project to come.
Behind it will be a building extension which will house the relocated research centre.
There needs to be more respect shown for this amazing site and for this beautiful building which has stood the test of time and is known and loved across our country.- Campbell resident Bethan Taylor
If approvals are granted, construction of the "early works" will proceed in October with the aim of completing much of the activity by Anzac Day 2020.
Long term local resident Keith Mitchell said he suspected the pressure to grow the space was because so many exhibits were held in storage.
"It's preserving the heritage of the building that is really important," he said.
The program lead for the project and former Lend Lease executive Wayne Hitches said he fully understood the emotional connection people have with the memorial.
He promised a wider outreach as the project progressed and a public engagement plan late this year.
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