‘The $500 million Australian War Memorial expansion risks undermining Australia’s environment and heritage laws, architects say‘, Canberra Times, 22 October 2020 updated (pdf from our subscription)
Reports on long media release from Architects Institute of Australia, which called on the Federal Environment Minister to block approval of the Australian War Memorial’s redevelopment proposal arguing that the demolition of Anzac Hall violates legislated heritage protections. Quotes at length former AIA President, Clare Cousins:
All of the heritage advice has been consistent in finding that the demolition of Anzac Hall will – unequivocally – have a significant negative impact on the Australian War Memorial’s heritage value,” Ms Cousins said.
“The strength and value of Australia’s legislated environmental and heritage protections would be undermined if such a violation of the Heritage Management Plan for this iconic site were permitted to proceed.
“The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), as custodian of our national environmental and heritage protection laws, has a responsibility to be a fair and independent arbiter in assessing the redevelopment proposal.
“In reviewing the final documentation, the Institute is deeply concerned by the record of interactions between DAWE and the Memorial which appear to presuppose that approval to demolish Anzac Hall will be granted.
“DAWE cannot be both project approval facilitator and independent assessor – this represents an irreconcilable conflict.”
Related letter to editor from former Memorial Director, Brendon Kelson, containing options for development (pdf from our subscription).