Coalition to spend half a billion dollars on Australian War Memorial project
Australian politics Coalition to spend half a billion dollars on Australian War Memorial project
Scott Morrison to announce spending but critics say money could be better spent on veteransâ services
The Australian War Memorial has secured $498m for a major redevelopment that will be unveiled by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, on Thursday.
The institution has been lobbying for the injection of cash for much of 2018. The mem orialâs director, Brendan Nelson, said in April the investment would fund a ânational project of significanceâ ensuring the heritage of the building was preserved.
Nelson said the proposal was for a âlargely underground redevelopmentâ â" a new hall to showcase more of the memorialâs collection of helicopters and aircraft â" a place of reflection, a new exhibit for contemporary conflicts and the relocation of administrative facilities to a new building.A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money | Paul Daley Read more
The proposed expansion, which has been controversial, is expected to almost double the size of the current visitor areas in the 77-year-old facility, and it will take nine years to complete.
Ahead of Thursdayâs announcement, Morrison said: âWeâre going to make the Australian War Memorialâs vision a reality so they can tell new stories in new ways.
âAs well as being able to display more of their collection, we want the Australian War Memorial to be able to proudly tell the stories from recent years in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East Timor.â
While critics have argued an investment of that scale would be better directed at boosting veteransâ services than on commemoration, Morrison said the government wanted to honour the service of Australian men and women.
âWhether itâs our veterans from conflicts decades ago or the last few years, weâre delivering the practical recognition and support our servicemen and women deserve,â he said.
The $498m investment in expanding the memorial in Canberra comes on top of other government spending on commemoration, including $100m for the Sir John Monash Centre in Villers-Bretonneux and a further $12.7m to fund the official histories of Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.
The Morrison government is spending $11.2bn on support for veterans this year, including financial suppor t, mental health and employment programs.Topics
- Australian politics
- Scott Morrison
- Liberal party
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