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Senator Steele-John motion on War Memorial redevelopment defeated by major parties

Senator Jordon Steele-John (Greens, WA) has been an assiduous questioner of Australian War Memorial officers at Senate Estimates. See most recently here (pages 92-98 of the pdf of the Proof Hansard) and use our Search engine.

The Senator is rightly critical of the $498m expansion program. Yesterday, he took his cause to the Senate floor and moved a motion:

15 June 2021

 NOTICE OF MOTION

I give notice on the next day of sitting, I shall move that –

The Senate –

  1. Notes that:
    1. There is a tremendous amount of public opposition to the redevelopment of the Australian War memorial both within the ACT community and across the country, as evidenced by the record number of 601 submissions of which only 3 supported the redevelopment proposal as it is;
    2. The National Capital Authority has not sufficiently addressed public concern around the destruction of ANZAC Hall, removal of native trees and excavation works in their approval;
    3. The early works program as proposed are so extensive as to make the full project a foregone conclusion; and
    4. The approval is subject to appeal and there is a significant possibility that it will be appealed.
  2. Calls on the Government to:
    1. Request that the Australian War Memorial not commence any works until all appeals processes are concluded.

Jordon Steele-John

Senator for Western Australia

(120 words)

The Senator duly moved his motion, Assistant Minister Duniam made a brief statement putting the government’s position, and the Senate divided. (For all this, see pages 68-69 of the pdf of the Proof Hansard.) The motion was lost 10-36. Those in favour were nine Greens and Senator Patrick (Centre Alliance). The few Labor Senators present voted against.

David Stephens

17 June 2021