Feb 19, 2004

Albanese Congratulates Marrickville Council for WWII Memorial

Albanese Congratulates Marrickville Council for WWII Memorial

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 19 February 2004

The Federal Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese last night congratulated Marrickville Council for their initiative in establishing a World War II memorial in the grounds of the newly constructed Debbie & Abbey Borgia Recreation Centre at Steele Park, Marrickville.

“This memorial to World War II veterans is in the grounds of the new Debbie and Abbey Borgia Centre. That centre, which was opened last year and named after two of the Bali victims, is a reminder that the nature of war has moved from war between countries to the current war against terrorism,” Mr Albanese said.

“It is also appropriate in terms of the timing because 15 February is the anniversary of the fall of Singapore, on 19 February Darwin was bombed for the first time and on 20 February the Japanese landed in Timor. In 1942 Australia was very much under threat.

“It was particularly pleasing to note that today there were present representatives of the RSL movement from Petersham, Newtown and Marrickville; and representatives of Marrickville Anzac Club. It was also pleasing to note also that the Singapore Consul General, the New Zealand Consul General and the Timorese Consul General were all present at today’s ceremony.

“I also want to note the importance of giving recognition to our veterans. It is now more than a year since New South Wales judge John Clarke presented his report to the government on veterans’ payments. A government response was due yesterday. It is unfortunate, given that veterans were flown into Canberra from all around Australia in expectation of that response, that it was shelved because of its inadequacy, because of its failure to look after TPI pensioners and because of its inadequate allowance for benefits for prisoners of war and the wives of veterans.

“It is important that we recognise the contribution of our veterans. It is also important that all parliamentarians never forget that the freedom we enjoy in this democratic parliament is due to the sacrifice of those veterans who were prepared to fight for our democracy and for our freedom,” Mr Albanese concluded.