Media Release

Ronaldson: Labor must deliver a Centenary of ANZAC agenda

The Gillard Labor Government’s silence about planning for the Centenary of ANZAC must end if this nation’s most important period of national commemoration is to be the success it must be, the Coalition says.

Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition on the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, gave a Shadow Ministerial Statement today in the Senate outlining the Coalition’s concerns about the Government’s preparations for the Centenary.

“The Centenary of ANZAC provides our nation with a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that all Australians, particularly young Australians, understand the sacrifices that have been made by so many to protect the values and ideals that we as a nation all too often take for granted”, Senator Ronaldson told the Senate.

“Delivered well, it will engage all Australians and leave a legacy for future generations who will understand the sacrifices made by those who have served this country and the unique nature of military service.”

“Labor’s lack of leadership, direction and perceived lack of interest in the Centenary of ANZAC is causing the veteran and ex-service community, the wider community and the Coalition a great deal of concern.”

Senator Ronaldson said the Coalition has offered and continues to offer the Government bi-partisan support for the commemoration of the Centenary of ANZAC.

“The Coalition will take the hands-on approach necessary to ensure the success of the Centenary of ANZAC.  We will work with local communities and local members of parliament on all sides to ensure that community-based commemoration lies at the heart of the ANZAC Centenary commemorative agenda.”

“Our vision for the Centenary’s legacy is an unequivocal understanding of what the ANZAC tradition symbolises – in the past, for the present and the future.”

“By 2018, we hope that all Australians not only better understand the uniqueness of military service, but also the obligation we have to those who serve and have served our nation, along with their families.”

“It is my hope that my statement to the Senate today will force the Prime Minister, and her Minister, to acknowledge that planning time is ticking by for communities large and small across the country wishing to commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC”, Senator Ronaldson said.