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Thursday, 28 August 2014
Page: 8975

Australian War Memorial

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:07): My question is to the Prime Minister. Before the last election the Prime Minister promised—I quote:

The coalition will take the action necessary to preserve, protect and enhance the Australian War Memorial.

In the year of the Centenary of Anzac, why has the Prime Minister cut the entire funding of the Australian War Memorial's travelling exhibitions program?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:08): As I suspect the Leader of the Opposition might know, while small travelling exhibitions will not be funded over the next few years, a very large travelling exhibition is going to be funded. While $800,000 for small travelling exhibitions has not been paid, $10 million in seed funding for a very large travelling exhibition has been paid. This very large travelling exhibition will be at the very heart of our Centenary of Anzac commemorations right around our country. There is scarcely a centre of any size around Australia that will not receive a visit from the Centenary of Anzac travelling exhibition.

In addition, my advice is that the War Memorial funding will be up from some $40 million last year to $47 million this year, because the Australian War Memorial is the keeper of a sacred flame. It is the place where we cherish the memory, the example and the inspiration of all who have served our country, who have worn our country's uniform. In time of peace and war we honour them, we salute them and we will suitably fund them over the Centenary of Anzac period.