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Gallipoli should be alcohol free on Anzac Day.



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Senator Mark Bishop Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Senator for Western Australia

MEDIA RELEASE

Media Details: Senator Mark Bishop 0419 959 892 or Peter Reece 0414 677 441 Parliament House (02) 6277 3101

6th June 2002 ref:m&pr 21/02

Gallipoli Should be Alcohol Free on Anzac Day

Alcohol should be banned from Gallipoli for the period of Anzac Day, Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator Mark Bishop said today.

Evidence given to the Senate Estimates last night by the Office of Australian War Graves downplaying media reports of a drunken bacchanalia by young Australian tourists this year is reassuring, but the unfortunate image remains.

Anzac Day, particularly at Gallipoli, is a most solemn occasion and nothing should be allowed to detract from that. This is not to deny our young tourists a good time, nor the opportunity to celebrate as the diggers themselves might have, and still do as they remember times of great hardship and lost mates.

It is simply an issue of respect at a time and at a site which is so full of sadness, bravery and human struggle.

I therefore ask the Government to carefully consider the regulation of alcohol on the site, in discussion with the Government of Turkey, to protect the solemn image of Gallipoli, as a mark of respect to those who died and to their memory.

The enormous growth in attendance at Gallipoli with 15 000 estimated this year is a wonderful reflection of the way we as Australians do indeed respect the memory of those who have served in battle. Let’s hope that continues and that the occasion is not tarnished by inappropriate behaviour.