Mar 17, 2005

2003 Survey ignored in request for road works

2003 SURVEY IGNORED IN REQUEST FOR ROAD WORKS

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 17 March 2005

Surveys of the Gallipoli battlefields in January 2003 by respected Australian archaeologist, Dr David Cameron, uncovered human remains and showed that any road works in that area would disturb that sacred site.

Dr Cameron subsequently met with officials from the Australian Office of War Graves, Environment Australia and the Australian Ambassador to Turkey in relation to the finding of his survey.

Some of the information from Dr Cameron’s survey is available on http://car.anu.edu.au/Jan2003newsfull.html

This website includes photographs of a human femur found at Anzac Cove and other artefacts.

It is clear that appropriate precautions to protect the heritage and sanctity of the Anzac Cove site were not undertaken prior to the request by the Australian Government for these massive road works to occur.

The Government’s complacency on this issue has left the site vulnerable and stands in stark contrast to the Prime Minister’s unequivocal commitment given in 2003 that the Anzac Cove site would be the first listed on the National Heritage List.

When Labor raised this issue in Parliament last Thursday the Prime Minister responded that it was “regrettable” that the question was asked.

On two occasions yesterday the Government gagged debate on resolutions seeking the tabling of all documents related to these extraordinary circumstances.

It is indeed regrettable that the Government has not prioritised the protection of the heritage, integrity and sanctity of Anzac Cove.