An online presentation is set to be made to Bathurst Regional Council this Wednesday discussing the need for a centre documenting the region's military history.
The presentation has been put together by Bathurst historian and Living Legend, Andrew Fletcher, who has submitted a paper to each councillor on how the project, tentatively named the Bathurst Regional Centre for Military History, could enrich the region's historical and tourism profile.
"We've progressed to the point where we need to get an independent business case completed to confirm the viability of such a centre in Bathurst," Mr Fletcher said.
"Council has estimated that this [business case] will cost around $30,000, and will involve research into how the centre will fit into the region's existing museum offerings and tourist economy."
Mr Fletcher said the centre could provide the community with a unique cultural asset to complement existing museum facilities.
"There's been a significant resurgence in military history over the last few years [World War I commemorations come to mind], and a military centre in Bathurst could provide a concise collection of stories featuring locals, past and present, who have served in war across a variety of roles," he said.
"Just about everyone in Bathurst has a connection to the military, and the centre will provide an opportunity for untold stories to be interpreted and shared for the public's interest."
Mr Fletcher said the centre could also prove an innovative project for council to pursue once the COVID-19 situation stabilises and recovery commences.
"After the COVID-19 situation settles down, I feel the commencement of this project could be a positive initiative for the community to get behind," he said.
Councillor Dr Jess Jennings, who is also the chief executive officer of the Australian Milling Museum, has voiced his support for the project, and will assist Mr Fletcher in his presentation to council via the web on Wednesday.
"The military centre would be a fine addition to Bathurst's growing museum economy, and I encourage my fellow councillors to look at getting the ball rolling on this project," Dr Jennings said.
"It's a challenging process to get these projects off the ground but if we look at the quality product that is the Bathurst Rail Museum, which took six to seven years to develop, there's potential to achieve the same result with our military history."
Bathurst RSL Sub Branch president David Mills is also supportive of the project, calling it "an opportunity to tell more about the city behind 'the Great Race'."
The business case is up for consideration as part of council's 2020-21 budget.