Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett
Western Australia Minister for Veterans Joe Francis
ANZAC Centenary Works Well Under Way
Victor P Taffa
- Western Australia preparations to mark ANZAC Centenary well advanced
- Albany to play pivotal role in marking 100 years since first ANZAC convoy left Albany Harbour
- ANZAC centenary commemoration events to be held across WA
Albany will play a leading role in Western Australia’s tributes to mark the ANZAC Centenary, beginning next year.
Premier Colin Barnett said the coastal city has a significant place in Australia’s history as the place where thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops departed for Egypt and then Turkey in 1914. Many of these troops never returned.
“Albany played a key role in the ANZAC war effort the first and second ANZAC troop ship convoys left from Albany harbour.” Premier Barnett said.
“It would have been the last Australian soil on which many of those young Australian soldiers would walk and Mount Clarence was one of their last sights of the mainland as they shipped out for the battle grounds.”
In recognition of the significant role Albany played in the ANZAC war efforts, both the State and Commonwealth Governments are working on a program of events to mark the Centenary of ANZAC between 2014 and 2018.
Major upgrades to the ANZAC memorial at Mount Clarence in Albany are well underway with the first stage of the upgrade of the Padre White Lookout completed. Work will commence on the next stage immediately after Anzac Day in readiness for the centenary commemorations. The State Government has contributed $5.8 Million towards the upgrades.
In addition, the WA Government has provided $2.2 Million towards a world-class ANZAC Interpretive Centre at Albany. Construction is expected to start in mid-November, with completion due by the end of July 2014.
The Premier said the infrastructure upgrade at Mount Clarence was due to be completed by February 2014.
The Mount Clarence work includes enhancement of the memorial infrastructure and visitor facilities, the installation of interpretive elements, and the creation of spaces to be used for education and commemoration.
Premier Barnett said plans for the ANZAC Interpretive Centre in Albany on the new site were also progressing well.
“The WA Museum is co-ordinating the development of a world class interpretive element to commemorate the sacrifice of the ANZACs.” Premier Barnett said.
“The Department of Finance’s Building Management and Works, is managing the construction and is expected to call for expressions of interest for builders around August.”
Premier Barnett said the State Government had recognised the role of veterans with the appointment for the first time of a Minister for Veterans.
Veterans Minister Joe Francis said the WWI Centenary commemorations would comprise many events across the State from 2014 – 2018.
“The State Government has established a dedicated unit to facilitate and coordinate activity across the State for the four year commemoration period of the Anzac Centenary.” Mr. Francis said.
“This unit is working very closely with the Commonwealth Government, through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), the Returned and Services League WA Branch (RSLWA) and local government authorities, particularly the City of Albany in the first instance.”
Mr. Francis said a regional events committee, chaired by Tourism WA’s Eventscorp, had been established. The committee would coordinate activities and initiatives in Albany and the Great Southern around the commemoration of the departure of the WWI Convoy on 1 November 2014, in support of ANZAC Day 2015 and throughout the centenary period.
“We hope that similar regional committees will be established throughout the State to develop activities and initiatives.” Mr. Francis said.
Premier Barnett said Lotterywest was working towards the development of an ANZAC Centenary grants program to support and encourage community commemoration activities right across the State and over the four-year ANZAC Centenary.
- The Department of Education in Western Australia will continue coordination of the Premier’s Student ANZAC Tour throughout the Centenary period and it is planned that the Hon Joe Francis MLA, Minister for Veterans will lead the tour in 2014
- The Department of Culture and the Arts is liaising with a diverse range of arts organisations about independent initiatives being developed specifically for the Anzac Centenary, many of which will be able to tour regionally
- Federal Government has committed $6.5million towards Interpretive Centre project
- An ANZAC Centenary community information forum, jointly hosted by the State Government, RSL, Department of Veterans Affairs and City of Albany, will be held on Tuesday May 7, Albany Town Hall, commencing 5.30 pm