Apr 5, 2005

Heartbreaking photos show ANZAC Cove destruction


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 5 April 2005

Photos sent to Federal MPs by a former Australian Army officer show the destruction caused by the Government’s road works at Anzac Cove (photos attached).

Mr Jeff Cleverly, who served in the Australian Army for a decade, says “the work has been excessive and largely inappropriate”.

“the 20 metre widening of the road inside ANZAC Cove seems more than the once-a-year heavy demand requires and it has not addressed the real problem, which is the erosion on the beach side of the road.”

The Australian Government requested the destructive road works while it was pursuing National Heritage Listing for Anzac Cove.

The photos show “spoil from the road works being dumped into Anzac Cove, removing large portions of the beach”. The photos also confirm previous reports that Anzac Cove now looks like an open cut mine.

Mr Cleverly is not alone in his condemnation of the road works.

Australia’s leading expert on Gallipoli, Les Carlyon, says "someone in the Government seems determined to turn Gallipoli into a circus" and he reminded us all that “apart from damaging the world’s best preserved World War I battlefield, the work was likely to disturb the remains of soldiers."

Mr Cleverly has also raised concerns about another road from Lone Pine to Chunuk Bair (letter to MPs and map attached).

If John Howard was serious about protecting our heritage, he would have made sure that there was a heritage management plan and that heritage experts and archaeologists monitored all the road works.

As we approach the 90th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, John Howard should hang his head in shame at the desecration of one of our most sacred sites.