Page 1713 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 3 May 2005

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MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Is the Chief Minister aware of any plans for the commemoration of the end of the Second World War?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, I am. I am very pleased that the ACT government will be able to join with the commonwealth government, through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, for a major commemoration here in the ACT. It will be a national commemoration organised through a committee established by the commonwealth that will be chaired by a very notable Canberran—Air Marshall David Evans—who is chairing a commonwealth taskforce appointed by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, to ensure a full celebration of the end of the war in the Pacific.

This major celebration or commemoration will occur over three days, over a weekend, from Friday 14 to Monday 16 May, being the time, of course, of the dropping of the second bomb on Tokyo, which heralded the surrender of Japan the next day and essentially signalled the end of the war in the Pacific.

The commonwealth government has, quite fittingly, decided that this should be an occasion of major commemoration by Australiainvolved so significantly as we were in the Second World War and the war in the Pacificof the enormous price that we, as a nation, paid by the deaths of so many Australians in such trying circumstances at that particular time.

The commonwealth, very pleasingly, has allocated a budget of $1.8 million for the commemoration, which will, as I say, be here in Canberra. The major focus will be a major display by the three services—the air force, the army and the navy on, around and above Lake Burley Griffin. There will be a major fly-past of aircraft from World War II vintage to aircraft of the present day. The navy will be conducting displays on the lake and the army will be similarly involved around the lake’s shores.

I am very pleased that the ACT government will be working in partnership with the commonwealth. We will be providing support to the tune of around $100,000 in support of this very significant and important commemorative event.

The commonwealth and Air Marshall David Evans have indicated to me in discussions and meetings that I have held with them that they are anticipating crowds of in excess of 100,000 people to attend the major celebration on 15 August. It will be a very fitting commemoration and celebration of the contribution of Australians in the Second World War and indeed a celebration of the end of that most dreadful war. I am very pleased that we will be working in partnership with them to ensure that this salute to veterans, as it has been titled, will be the success that I think we would all hope for.

There are other plans afoot by the government to continue to seek to ensure that the contributions made by all Canberrans, and indeed all residents of the region, are appropriately recognised. Members would be interested to know that I am in communication with the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs in relation to the prospect of the commonwealth working with interested veterans organisations, the community and indeed the ACT government, to ensure that Canberrans or, rather, residents of this particular region, who served the nation in the Boer War have here within the ACT a memorial appropriate to their contribution to their nation in that war.

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