Honest History E-newsletter No. 57, 26 March 2019: Special edition (REPOSTED)

ISSN: 2202-5561©

Community campaign against the proposed $498 million extensions to the Australian War Memorial

[WE ARE RUNNING THIS AGAIN TO REMIND READERS THAT THIS CAMPAIGN IS STILL RUNNING. AS THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN COMES TO AN END, PLEASE CONSIDER WRITING TO YOUR FEDERAL MP OR CANDIDATE TO OPPOSE THE WAR MEMORIAL PROJECT.]

Regular readers of the Honest History website will have noted posts critical of the plan to build $498 million worth of extensions to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. You can find these posts by using our Search engine with terms like ‘extensions’ and ‘bunker’.

Our most recent round-up of events in this space can be found here. It includes: the open letter opposing the extensions; the 83 signatories to the letter; a report of the astonishing support the campaign received on Twitter; the names of the ‘Heritage Guardians’ committee coordinating the campaign; a link to the petition against the extensions.

The petition got under way mid-morning on Saturday and by Monday evening had gathered signatures from more than three times the number of people who supported the extensions in the Memorial’s consultation process last year.

Here is a direct link to the petition. Please consider signing it. [The petition is now closed but please consider writing to your federal MP or candidate.]

From the campaign material:

The Australian War Memorial’s $498 million extensions should not proceed. They cannot be justified, they show the Memorial is being given preference over other national institutions, and the money could be better spent …

We have just seen over $350 million spent by the Commonwealth on the Anzac Centenary and the Sir John Monash Centre in France. Should further money be spent on these extensions rather than on other needy cultural institutions or direct benefits to veterans and their families?

Among the signatories to the letter are renowned Australian authors, Richard Flanagan, Thomas Keneally, and Don Watson, leading historians Marilyn Lake, Stuart Macintyre, Mark McKenna, Henry Reynolds, and Clare Wright, three former heads of Australian government departments, two former Australian ambassadors, a former Director and Deputy Director of the War Memorial, and the founding Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

Out of the 83 signatories, 24 have been honoured with awards under the Order of Australia.

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