THE Australian War Memorial’s development project is on track to ensure the stories of service from the current generation will be told at Australia’s national institution.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester welcomed the announcement that the Memorial’s proposal was approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999.
“The Memorial holds a sacred place in the hearts of Australians and we must ensure that those from contemporary conflicts have their stories told — in peacekeeping and operational conflicts including East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan,” Mr Chester said.
“It is important that veterans today can take their families, their children or loved ones to the Memorial and see their story, and by expanding the Memorial we can tell these stories and continue to have a positive impact on the lives of our contemporary veterans.”
Australian War Memorial Director Matt Anderson said that he also welcomed the outcome, which follows amendments and undertakings the Memorial made through public consultation, as one of the first of three major approval processes required to progress the proposed development.
“The expansion of our galleries will allow the Memorial to honour the commitment of the 100,000 Australians who have served our country over the past 30 years,” Mr Anderson said.
Following consultation with the ex-service community, the Memorial will ensure that future construction work tenders will have a scored criteria for not just veterans’ employment, but also employment and opportunity for veterans and Defence family members and their businesses.
The proposal for the development project is currently being considered by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works. If approved, it will then be considered by the National Capital Authority.