Australian War Memorial Director, Brendan Nelson, has announced cutbacks in the Memorial’s travelling exhibitions, including shows being specially set up for the Anzac centenary under the command of a retired Major General. More. The trigger seems to have been a cut in the contribution from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Exhibitions will be wound up, exhibits returned to Canberra, rural and regional electorates disappointed.
Perhaps that last is the clue.The amount of money involved is relatively small. The backlash may be considerable. The Director was once a politician. We await developments. Or perhaps corporates will stump up.
26 August 2014
Update: 27 August 2014: it seems that the Anzac centenary travelling exhibition is safe from cuts.
Update: 29 August 2014: yesterday’s Question Time in the House of Representatives saw some lively theatrics on this issue, including a couple of ejections, but the upshot seemed to be that the $10 million for the Anzac centenary travelling exhibition had not been cut. There was similar activity in the Senate with a similar message, ending (proof Hansard, p. 52) with the Minister, Senator Ronaldson, referring, as he has previously to the ‘obligations’ of future generations.
I am going to make decisions that will ensure that we can look after contemporary veterans and hold commemorative events because I have an investment in the young people of this country, who I want to understand what their obligations will be in the future to these men and women who have served this nation.
The Minister also put out a media release.
Update: 1 March 2015: further discussion at Additional Estimates.