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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5701

Gallipoli

(Question No. 1891)


Senator Ronaldson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs upon notice on 19 June 2012.

(1) Will the Government work with Turkish and New Zealand authorities to accredit travel providers offering travel packages to Gallipoli in April 2015; if so, how?

(2) What advice does the Government currently provide to Australians wishing to travel to Gallipoli in 2015 in regard to travel planning?

(3) When does the Government expect to make an announcement about public consultation on the proposed lottery scheme for ticketing at the Anzac Centenary commemorations in Turkey in April 2015?


Senator Bob Carr: The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable Senator’s question:

(1) There is a broader issue currently under discussion between the governments of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey about the numbers of visitors wishing to attend Anzac Centenary commemorations in Turkey in April 2015. Resolution of this issue will not revolve around accreditation of tour operators, many of whom are based in the United Kingdom. Discussions about managing the demand to attend in 2015 includes the provision of advice to tour operators in Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The Government will assess all options in consultation with our New Zealand and Turkish counterparts and provide advice, as required, to tour operators and the public on the final outcome of these deliberations.

(2) The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) focus has been to inform tour operators, who are a major conduit of information to prospective visitors. Information is provided to tour operators on the DVA website at:

http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/commemorative_events/anzac_day/gallipoli/Pages/index.aspx

http://www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/commemorations/Pages/index.aspx

This same information is provided to people who contact DVA.

(3) The term “lottery”, as recently raised in some newspapers, implies the sale of tickets in order to win a prize. The Government has no intention of demeaning the memory of the service and sacrifice of Australians who served at Gallipoli, or diminishing the significance of the Anzac Centenary, by offering tickets for sale.

The Government is currently holding discussions with the New Zealand and Turkish Governments about managing the demand to attend Anzac Centenary commemorations in Turkey in April 2015, whilst ensuring the safety and comfort of visitors. An announcement on the outcome of those discussions, and about public consultation on a process to fairly and transparently manage attendance, will be made shortly.