Oct 18, 2005

No Respect for Anzac Heritage

No Respect for Anzac Heritage

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

18 October 2005

Danna Vale’s crazy plan to recreate Anzac Cove confirms the Government’s lack of respect for our heritage.

Anzac Cove is a sacred site for Australians. It cannot be recreated.

The Howard Government has form in abusing our Anzac heritage. They requested road works which damaged Anzac Cove forever. They played the Bee Gees’ Staying Alive at the Anzac Day memorial service at Gallipoli.

Now they want to create an Anzac Cove theme park in Australia at the environmentally sensitive Point Nepean. This is Las Vegas style heritage protection.

It was Danna Vale, the then Veterans’ Affairs Minister, who requested the road works at Anzac Cove.

Just last week, a Senate Inquiry found that she and her successor, De-Anne Kelly, were “asleep at the wheel” while irreparable damage was done to Anzac Cove.

The Senate Inquiry found “Australian authorities and the Australian Government were complacent in their response to allegations and evidence that this damage was occurring.”

The Howard Government’s complacency continues to this day.

In their minority report, Government Senators stated “the Howard Government has, at all times, acted appropriately and correctly.”

This was an extraordinary statement given the Government requested the road works, then failed to properly monitor the project.

Now we know it’s not just complacency, it’s a mindset. The theme park plan has given Australians an insight into the thought processes that led to the damage at Anzac Cove.

The Howard Government simply doesn’t understand the need to respect our heritage.

They’re out of touch with Australians.