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Basford Canales, Sarah: Australian War Memorial expansion: Community fights to save memorial’s WWII-era trees

Update 9-10 April 2021: Response from Director Anderson, interviewed by the Canberra Times (Doug Dingwall and Sara Basford Canales). To a large extent, repeats arguments previously made by the Director and his predecessor. And more in the Canberra Times.


Sarah Basford Canales

Australian War Memorial expansion: Community fights to save memorial’s WWII-era trees‘, Canberra Times, 8 April 2021 (updated); pdf from our subscription

(Shorter version of this Canberra Times story is on pages 4-5 of hard copy of the paper for 8 April.)

Forty or so committed Australians met in the grounds of the War Memorial to tie ribbons around some of the 116 trees condemned for the chop to make way for the Memorial’s $498m expansion program. Article has pictures plus quotes from spokespeople for Heritage Guardians and Australian Greens. One illustration includes the map from the Memorial’s documentation, showing the 116 trees to go. (Gone later in the day, but reproduced below.)

These trees were, I believe, planted around the time the memorial was opened in November 1941. These trees are Second World War veterans, and the memorial’s chopping them down.These trees have seen more Anzac Days than any of us. (Professor Peter Stanley, UNSW Canberra; Heritage Guardians)

We’re always told it’s about freedom and democracy. Well, what democracy is there when people don’t want a major redevelopment and it goes ahead anyway? (Dr Sue Wareham, President, Medical Association for Prevention of War; Heritage Guardians)

Other media: Canberra City News; Canberra Weekly.

More photographs taken by David Flannery.

Australian Greens petition against the project.

Have your say with the National Capital Authority on the Memorial’s ‘early works’ application. You don’t need to live in Canberra. Arguments here and in Heritage Guardians campaign diary, which tracks the story over the last two years, with links to hundreds of other posts and articles.


David Flannery


From: Canopy Tree Experts, Preliminary Arboricultural Report, 23 February 2021, part of War Memorial documentation to National Capital Authority (Pdf ‘Preliminary Arboriculture Assessment’). Trees with red arrows/circles are destined for the chop. For more, consult the tables in the Canopy document.