Australia’s projected spend on the Anzac centenary-century of service now stands at an estimated $561.8 million, following an announcement today of a $10 million donation by Rio Tinto to the Anzac Centenary Public Fund. Anzac centenary minister, Stuart Robert, said:
As a proud Australian company Rio Tinto has thrown its support behind the Anzac Centenary with a very generous $10 million donation that will help support a range of community activities, events, memorials and educational partnerships.
Honest History’s detailed estimates of the commemoration spend have become accepted as authoritative – they certainly have not been contested by Australian Government spokespersons. The $561.8 million includes $331.3 million from the Australian Government, $140.5 million from the States and Territories and now $90 million from corporates.
Australia’s commemoration spend is many times bigger than that by any other single country and probably outstrips the spending of all other countries combined. (More on international comparisons.) The Minister recently announced (when everyone had knocked off, two days before Christmas) the awarding of the construction contract for one of the big ticket items, the $100 million Monash Interpretive Centre in Villers-Bretonneux, France (the Picardy boondoggle).
Rio Tinto Limited is technically an ‘Australian company’ but the headquarters of Rio Tinto Group is in London and it is a massive operation. Without wanting to encourage Rio Tinto to kick in more to the commemoration tin, Honest History notes that the group’s revenue in 2014 was $US 48 billion and group profits $US 6.5 billion. Ten million Australian dollars for ‘community activities, events, memorials and educational partnerships’ is about 0.1 per cent of that profit figure. Small change given a khaki tinge.
11 January 2016 updated