Response to Canberra Times Opinion piece by Sue Wareham and David Stephens Opinion piece War Memorial 'consultation' was a sham from the start published Thursday 16 September 2021
Since 2018, the Australian War Memorial has engaged in extensive consultation on our Development Project. In fact, as of today we’ve undertaken more than 400 consultation activities. They’ve ranged from meetings with community groups, to nationwide surveys, online forums, focus groups and a national roadshow to every State and Territory.
Alongside our own national program of consultation the Memorial’s Development Project has been assessed through three independent and robust approvals processes, each including an extensive public feedback and comment process.
Thousands of Australians have taken the opportunity to share their opinions on the Project. The feedback has been considered by both the Memorial and the heritage, environmental, and planning experts as well as evaluating value for money outcomes of the project. On each occasion we’ve listened, we’ve learned and we’ve made revisions to our plans to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes for all Australians.
The last of these approvals processes, run by the National Capital Authority (NCA), closed last week on Friday 10 September 2021. At six weeks in duration this amounts to the total public comment period for the Project as more than six months since the first approval process which was almost two years ago.
I’m excited to hear what hundreds more Australians have to say about the project and to work with the NCA to turn that feedback into yet more improvements so we can deliver what Government asked us to do in 2018 when they funded the project - tell the untold stories of our modern servicemen and servicewomen of recent conflicts and operations so that all Australians can understand the sacrifices they’ve made for us over the past 30 years.
Matt Anderson – Director, Australian War Memorial