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Wednesday, 17 April 1985
Page: 1131

Senator TATE —Is the Minister for Veterans' Affairs aware of the disgraceful and derelict state of Veterans Park in the national capital? Is he particularly aware that this means that there is no suitable place of remembrance of those 424 Australians, volunteer and conscript, who were killed in the Vietnam war? Will the Government give an assurance that moneys will be found in the next Budget, despite stringencies on spending, so that restoration of Veterans Park can go ahead?

Senator GIETZELT —Yes, I am aware that in Canberra City there is a park known as Veterans Park, which was designed and constructed in 1969 in Civic. In 1981 the appropriate authority, the National Capital Development Commission, named it in honour of Australian servicemen who died in Korea, Vietnam, Borneo and Malaya. A fountain and a sculpture were erected at the time, which unfortunately have been subjected to a degree of vandalism, which the Government condemns. However, there has been significant redevelopment in the vicinity of that memorial and the NCDC has reviewed the anticipated future of the park and has taken steps to produce a development plan in order that better surveillance and protection of the site can be maintained in future. The plan has been presented to the Department of Territories, to the National Memorials Committee as well as to the Korean and South East Asian Forces Association for adequate consultation with those bodies.

Under the plan the Veterans Park will be extended to maximise its area and to take advantage of areas free of overshadowing by some buildings in the vicinity. The developer of the adjacent block has been given approval by my Department to use part of the park temporarily to stage his work and the park will be fully restored as part of that project. The NCDC then hopes to co-ordinate its upgrading of the park to proper standards in the restoration work. It is hoped that, subject to the availability of funds-which we do not discuss or debate prior to the Budget-work on the park and restoration will commence subject to the approval of the Budget in 1985.