Page 1081 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 25 March 2015

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So as the centenary of Anzac draws closer and we reflect on the bravery, the sacrifice and the human toll of those who have served in Australia’s military forces, let us also renew our efforts to find peace and to strive for a world where we can resolve conflict not through war but through diplomacy, understanding and the seeking of common ground.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Minister for Planning, Minister for Roads and Parking, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Minister for Children and Young People and Minister for Ageing) (10.34): I would like to thank Mr Hanson for bringing this motion to the Legislative Assembly today. As we have heard, next month, 25 April, will mark the centenary of Anzac. Anzac Day is an important day for us as Australians and for us as Canberrans.

As the centenary of Anzac draws closer, paying tribute to those who have fought for our country by commemorating their efforts is a priority for the ACT government. As part of this, the ACT government believes it is important to honour and to recognise those members of the ACT community who have served. To do this, and to involve the ACT community in this, the ACT government has been involved in the organisation and promotion of special events.

One such event, as we have heard, was Canberra’s Anzac centenary tribute concert, a special one-off concert that was held earlier this year, on 8 March, at the Patrick White Lawns in front of the Library of Australia. The concert featured a traditional beating retreat ceremony by the Australian Defence Force and a performance by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. The Canberra Symphony Orchestra presented a program of music culminating with Tchaikovsky’s rousing 1812 Overture performed alongside the combined bands of the Australian Defence Force with guns fired over Lake Burley Griffin. Approximately 13,000 people attended Canberra’s Anzac centenary tribute concert, which was funded through a partnership with AGL.

As we have already heard this morning, and as Mr Hanson’s motion states, Anzac Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day on which we remember Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

As Canberra is the nation’s capital and home to the Australian War Memorial, there is an important role that we as a community play in commemorating such a significant occasion. The ACT government has acknowledged this and, through Visit Canberra, has partnered with the Australian War Memorial to market the significant First World War and centenary of Anzac commemorations to an interstate audience through the whole of this year.

The partnership will see an investment of $300,000 from the special event fund in marketing the Australian War Memorial’s commemoration events throughout 2015. The funding will also be matched by the Australian War Memorial. The partnership will see the Australian War Memorial’s major events, performances and exhibitions promoted to interstate audiences throughout 2015. These include Anzac Day, marking the centenary of the Gallipoli landing; Remembrance Day; the newly opened First World War galleries; the Roll of Honour soundscapes project and name projections; and daily Last Post ceremonies.

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