LIBERAL Senator Gary Humphries says a Coalition Government will end a long period in which the role of the ACT community has been overlooked in determining national memorials for Canberra.
“The Coalition will fill two vacant positions reserved for ACT residents on the Canberra National Memorials Committee,” he says.
“Canberrans have passionate views about what goes on in their city. The concern surrounding the World Wars’ Memorials is a timely reminder that no Australians feel more passionately about the values of the Bush Capital than the people who live in it.
“A recent hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories in Canberra also highlighted the dangers of not having local representation on the Canberra National Memorials Committee.”
Ever since the Canberra National Memorials Committee was established in 1928 to evaluate proposals for memorials in the national capital, two seats have remained vacant.
The National Memorials Ordinance (1928) provides for two members to be appointed “from amongst persons who are residents of the Australian Capital Territory”. Other members of the committee include the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“The provision was originally for two ‘…persons who are recognised as authorities on Australian history…” but was later changed to provide for two residents of the ACT to be included on the committee.
“However, I understand neither the previous nor the current positions have ever been filled,” says Humphries.