Mar 9, 2005

ANZAC Cove outrage


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 9 March 2005

The Howard Government’s arrogance and complacency has been shown today by its failure to protect Australian war graves at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.

Sixteen months ago, John Howard promised to protect Australia’s heritage at Anzac Cove by putting it on the National Heritage List. Anzac Cove is more than a heritage site – it is a sacred site for all Australians.

The Australian Heritage Council started assessing Anzac Cove for the National Heritage List on 19 March 2004, but the site still hasn’t been listed.

On 18 December 2003, John Howard said:

“It seems to me … entirely appropriate that the Anzac site at Gallipoli should represent the first nomination for inclusion on the National Heritage List. And, although it’s not on Australian territory, anyone who has visited the place will know that once you go there you feel it as an Australian as the piece of land on which your home is built.”

Many Australians have expressed deep concern at the impact of the widening of a road near the historic beach where Anzac troops landed on 25 April 1915.

There is no excuse for the delays in protecting Anzac Cove. As John Howard said on 19 December 2003:

“I’m quite sure that the understanding that we have with the Turkish authorities would ensure [that Anzac Cove is listed].”

As we approach the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, the Government has shown extraordinary complacency with the site where the Anzac legend was born.