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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3398

Mr GRIFFIN (Bruce) (13:37): The government supports the motion by the member for O'Connor. I will speak briefly because of the time of day and the circumstances we face, but there are a couple of points I would like to make in the process of that. It is my understanding that the government has been working with the member for O'Connor to look at the question of what can be done here to ensure that we properly commemorate the absolutely important role that Albany played with respect to the departure of our first Anzacs almost a century ago. The circumstances around that involve a process which is very important. The government set up an independent process through the national commission on the commemoration of the Anzac centenary. I know, because I was the minister who set it up. It was a process that was designed to be bipartisan and apolitical and to provide an opportunity for people to come forth from throughout the country with recommendations as to what should be done in order to commemorate this absolutely vital centenary. Through that and through the process of that commission, a range of initiatives have come forward and today we speak briefly about one that was, I might add, a recommendation from that commission as being something that should be central to the commemorations which relate to the centenary of Anzac.

As part of that process from those recommendations, further consideration has occurred through the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board, and the government has committed firstly, as I understand it, $250,000 around a feasibility study and now another $1.3 million with respect to the design and development of the centre. That is that way you do these things. You have to start off properly and work through progressively, and that is what the government is doing and has done. Frankly, it is not a question of who visits first; it is a question of what is delivered in the end and it is about ensuring that this national centenary of some of the most important elements of our national history is done properly in a process which ensures the involvement of the entire nation and that the priorities that are set forward through that process are priorities that meet the needs of the entire nation.

I am particularly pleased with respect to this proposal that there is going to be an educative online involvement, because I think it is crucial that what is done in Albany is understood throughout this nation and in fact throughout the world. I am very confident that as we move forward on this that is exactly what is going to happen. I commend the member for O'Connor for the work that he has done on this. I commend the government for the work they are doing on this. I would urge all members of this House to get behind this as one of what will end up being many initiatives throughout this nation, to ensure that the courage and sacrifice of those who went before us, now almost a century ago, are properly understood by the Australian community today and properly commemorated in the years ahead in an enduring fashion via elements such as this, which will provide an enduring long-term legacy to ensure that that courage and sacrifice are never forgotten.

Debate adjourned.

Sitting suspended from 13:41 to 15:59