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Children's trees honour Mackay war dead



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-V AUSTRALIA

b Brown Minister for Land Transport

B5

298/91

23 August 1991

CHILDREN'S TREES HONOUR MACKAY WAR DEAD

Schoolchildren from Mackay have been a driving force behind the dedication of more than 300 native trees along the national Remembrance Driveway between Canberra and Sydney.

Federal Land Transport Minister Bob Brown revealed the children's efforts today when he unveiled a plaque of remembrance near the intersection of the Federal and Hume Highways, south of Goulburn.

The 308 trees and the plaque specifically honour servicemen and women from the Mackay region in North Queensland.

Mr Brown said the story began last year when he dedicated Mackay's Tennyson Street Memorial Park, which was designed and partially built by students from the Mackay Central State School.

"Former students from the school helped plant trees along the banks of the Pioneer River to form Mackay's original Avenue of Honour, and at that ceremony last year I undertook to request the Remembrance Driveway Committee to

dedicate two trees along the Remembrance Driveway for every one tree planted at the Tennyson Street memorial," Mr Brown said.

"These newly-planted trees are a direct result of those children's work, and I am deeply moved by their commitment to pay homage to the men and women of Mackay who fought and died for Australia in the two world wars and in Korea and South-East Asia."

Trees were originally planted in the early 1950s along the Remembrance Driveway, which symbolically links the Sydney Cenotaph with the National War Memorial in Canberra.

In 1989 the Hawke Government announced that an additional 36,000 trees would be added to the 20,000 trees already established along the route. The 308 trees planted in honour of Mackay's war dead are part of the new plantings.

Mr Brown said: "The Hawke Government has set aside $360,000 for the five-year planting program, and these new trees will follow the altered alignment of the Hume and Federal Highways, including new bypasses and deviations presently under construction."

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