‘Australian War Memorial $500m redevelopment project to be probed: ANAO‘, Canberra Times, 8 July 2021 updated
The management of the war memorial’s controversial plans to drastically reshape the national institution will be put under a microscope over the coming year.
The Auditor-General Grant Hehir has proposed it [the Australian National Audit Office] look into the Australian War Memorial’s processes and planning behind the $500 million project among its list of potential performance audits for the 2021-22 period.
The purpose of the Australian War Memorial is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war or on operational service and those who have served Australia in times of conflict. The heritage building, land and cultural assets held by the memorial are valued at over $1.3 billion.
In 2018, the government allocated $498.7 million over nine years in funding for the Australian War Memorial’s major development project. The project, known as Our Continuing Story, aims to:
‘ … address the memorial’s commemorative, exhibition, archive and storage needs and provide appropriate facilities for the Memorial, allowing us to effectively tell the stories of the Australian experience of war for the next 50 years, and ensuring the Memorial is able to achieve its purpose throughout that period.’
This audit would examine the effectiveness of the Australian War Memorial’s management of the development project, including planning, achieving value for money in procurement, and progress to date in delivering the project.
The Memorial has welcomed the proposed audit. So will the opponents of the project. Heritage Guardians diary of the campaign against the project.
Canberra Times journalists interview Shannon Battisson of the Australian Institute of Architects and Matt Anderson of the Memorial.