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Future plans for World War I burial site.



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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP

Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence

31 July 2008

FUTURE PLANS FOR WORLD WAR I BURIAL SITE

The Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence, Bob Baldwin MP, has welcomed the announcement that the remains of the Australian and British World War I soldiers buried in Fromelles in northern France will be individually re-interred in a War Grave.

Today’s announcement ends months of speculation over the future of the site following the confirmation that a significant number of Australian and British soldiers who lost their lives still lay in mass burial pits where they were interred by German forces following a fierce battle during World War I in 1916.

“It is vitally important that these brave men are afforded a proper and dignified burial with the full support of the Federal Government, whatever it costs,” said Mr Baldwin.

Mr Baldwin said he was delighted that the major project initiated by the Howard Government looked to be reaching a positive conclusion and he congratulated all those involved for their commitment and dedication to the task.

“This project is fully supported by the Opposition,” he said.

“We appreciate that this announcement has been eagerly anticipated by all Australians and trust the expectations of the public will be carefully managed by the Government.

“It is vital that the collaborative effort between the agencies and countries involved in the task continues.

“It is extremely important that the sovereignty of the land in which the remains were found is fully respected and acknowledged.”

Media enquiries: Bob Baldwin - 0419 694 620

Electorate: PO Box 156 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324, 35 Sturgeon Street Raymond Terrace. Phone (02) 4983 1330 Canberra: Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 4200

Email: bob.baldwin.mp@aph.gov.au