EPBC Final Preliminary Documentation

Officially opened in 1941, the Australian War Memorial is an iconic building of national significance. Located in line of sight of the Australian Parliament House, our Memorial reminds the nation of the cost of war and the effects of service.

Our values, our character and our identity live on in the stories of past, present and future service members, their families and community. More than one million people visit our Memorial every year to honour these members’ service and to learn about their experiences in war, peacekeeping, and humanitarian operations.

The time has come to modernise and expand our galleries and buildings so we can tell the continuing story of Australia’s contemporary contribution to a better world through the eyes of those who have served in modern conflicts, connecting the spirit of our past, present, and future for generations to come.

Project overview

Our development project plans were launched on Monday 18 November 2019 by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP.

The project includes a new southern entrance, refurbishment of the main building, a new Anzac Hall connected to the main building via a glazed link, an extension to the Bean Building, a new research centre connected to the Poppy’s Café forecourt, and public realm works. Sensitively connected to the existing landscape, the detailed plans will ensure the heritage façade remains unchanged.

Further details and images of each of these design areas are available further down this page.

Australian War Memorial Development Project fly-through – published 18 November 2019. For current designs, please refer to the images below.

The works will be carried out in stages over nine years to ensure the Memorial remains open to visitors.

How to have your say

Since the project was announced there have been several consultation processes run by the Memorial and other government agencies and committees. Our public consultations are advertised on our Stay Informed page.

This page also includes a summary of our 2019–20 public consultation program, as well as the detailed consultation report that was submitted as part of our Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act documentation.

Current externally managed consultations are detailed below.

There will always be a variety of views when large value developments are discussed. During consultation with the public throughout Australia to date, the majority of people who have provided feedback directly to the Australian War Memorial have been supportive of the proposed direction for the development. We encourage people who have a positive or negative view about the project to submit their feedback to ensure a representative response sample


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act referral


On 14 November 2019, our project was referred to the Department of Environment and Energy for consideration under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). On 18 December 2019 the project was declared a ‘controlled action’, requiring an assessment decision under the EPBC Act.

Our original referral documentation covered the new Anzac Hall and glazed link and the new southern entrance. Since this referral, we have included additional development project components as part of a variation:

  • C.E.W Bean Building extension and refurbishment
  • C.E.W Bean Research Centre
  • Public realm improvement works.

This referral variation was accepted by the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (which has taken over EPBC Act responsibility). The inclusion of these works as part of our referral will ensure the public and the department are able to consider and comment on the impact of the entirety of the project through one process.

Second consultation phase

As the project was declared a ‘controlled action’, a second public consultation phase took place between 3-31 July 2020, focused on the environmental and heritage impacts of our plans. During this time 167 public submissions were received. A ‘Response to Public Submissions’ report summarising and responding to these comments has been prepared and the Preliminary Documentation finalised.

The Memorial has taken into account both public comments and advice from the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment.  This has led to some 50 updates, clarifications or changes to the project documentation and supporting attachments. These changes are supported by more than 35 formal commitments relating to the project put forth by the Memorial to provide assurance to the community that it will carefully manage the heritage impacts of the project and continue to offer meaningful community engagement throughout future project activity – including exhibition design - if all relevant approvals are granted.

EPBC Final Preliminary Documentation

Physical copies of the final preliminary documentation can also be viewed from 7 - 21 October at various locations around Canberra including:

  • Access Canberra Shopfront, 8 Darling Street, Mitchell, ACT
  • ACT Libraries, Civic Library, Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra City
  • Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, John Gorton Building, King Edward Terrace, Parkes ACT

For people whom English is second languages, who are vision impaired, or who otherwise require assistance to access the documents, please contact the project team on (02) 6243 4211.

Email: development@awm.gov.au


Consultation timeline

  • Stage 1 - Public comment: The public had the opportunity to review our documentation and provide public comment for consideration. This period ran from 3-31 July and public comment is now closed.  An acknowledgement of receipt was provided for each submission. If you made a comment but have not received an acknowledgement please contact development@awm.gov.au
  • Stage 2 - Preliminary documentation revisions: We received 167 public comments including two (2) late submissions which have been accepted. We reviewed and considered the public comments received as well as feedback from sources such as the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. This informed changes to our preliminary documentation, including updates to design, mitigation measures or clarifications as required.
  • Stage 3 - Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment review: The Final Preliminary Documentation was submitted to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment 30 September 2020. This documentation, and the comments received have been published on our website. The Department now undertakes its own internal processes before making a final decision on our referral. This decision depends on Departmental processes and is expected no earlier than November 2020. For further information on the referral process, please refer to the department’s website.


Public Works Committee referral

As part of the standard approval process our development project was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works on 30 April 2020 and the public submission documents are available on the Committee’s website. Submissions closed on 17 June 2020.

The Committee will examine the development as a major government project, and welcomes public comment through its established processes. It will review the purpose, scope and need for the proposed works as well as well as the cost effectiveness, public value and impact on local communities.

The Committee conducts a public consultation period covering our development project, and undertakes a public hearing in connection with it.

The Committee’s guidelines for submissions and participation in the public hearing are available on its website. Public hearing dates and deadlines for written submissions will also be published on this site.

The Committee can be contacted through the contact details published on its website or as below:

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4636
Fax: +61 2 6277 4844


Design overview

Australian War Memorial precinct design

Australian War Memorial precinct design

site plan

Australian War Memorial site plan

New southern entrance

A new southern entrance will improve visitor orientation and arrival, and provide additional access to gallery spaces.

Designed by Scott Carver Pty Ltd, the new southern entrance will be created below the existing forecourt and connect through to the lower level of the main building.

Access will be via the eastern and western arrival courtyards. The western arrival courtyard will be ramped to provide access from the western car parks. The eastern arrival courtyard will have a stepped entrance from the ground level forecourt, with ramped and lift access to the underground and eastern car parks.

The original Commemorative Entrance is also retained in the final designs.

southern entrance

Eastern arrival courtyard.


Western arrival courtyard.

The southern entrance will also house the Memorial shop and an electronic display including Places of Pride.

The connection to the main building will be maintained through a new focal point, the oculus, located at the heart of the new southern entrance. The design of the oculus draws upon the scale and detail of the dome to the Hall of Memory, its cone shape being an inversion of the dome, and its structure paying homage to the dome’s external finned assembly. The oculus’ glazed skin is inspired by the internal mosaic collage designed by Napier Waller which adorns the internal skin of the dome in the Hall of Memory. The iconic dome over the Hall of Memory will be visible through the oculus.

southern entrance oculus

The southern entrance, including the oculus, shop and digital displays.

Anzac Hall and glazed link

Designed by Cox Architecture Pty Ltd, the new Anzac Hall provides an additional 4,000m² of gallery space with the construction of a new two-storey building to house and display exhibitions, large technology objects and galleries.

Eastern view of new Anzac Hall and the glazed link

Eastern view of new Anzac Hall and the glazed link.

Western view of new Anzac Hall and the glazed link

Western view of new Anzac Hall and the glazed link

The decision to rebuild Anzac Hall was made following a comprehensive study and rigorous analysis of possible alternatives. This outcome was determined to be the least complex, best value for money approach that would not threaten the integrity of the heritage main building. For further information, please refer to our frequently asked questions.

The glazed link, also designed by Cox Architecture, will strengthen and improve connectivity between the main building and Anzac Hall and will contain non-light sensitive large technology objects (including aircraft and armoured vehicles), a café/restaurant, and space to support the Memorial’s educational programs.

The design activates an underutilised zone behind the main building and will increase the number connection accessways between the main building and Anzac Hall.

The elevated level 2 access way gives a direct line of sight to the dome over the Hall of Memory from the north, similar to the line of sight through the oculus from the south.

Glazed courtyard, featuring bridge between new Anzac Hall and the main building.

Glazed courtyard, featuring bridge between new Anzac Hall and the main building.

C.E.W. Bean Building extension, refurbishment and new research centre

We will be extending the C.E.W. Bean Building to the south, aligning with the forecourt in front of Poppy’s Café. The extension, and refurbishment of the existing building, will allow us to consolidate operational and non-critical administrative functions from the main building – optimising the use of space in the main building for gallery content.

A new world-class research centre will be integrated into the C.E.W. Bean Building to provide efficient and secure access to the National Collection. The centre will be integrated into the building (to the north) and located adjacent to Poppy’s Café (to the south and east). 

Eastern view of C.E.W. Bean Building entrance and Research Centre

Eastern view of C.E.W. Bean Building entrance and Research Centre

Southern view of the C.E.W. Bean Building

Southern view of the C.E.W. Bean Building

Public realm works

Poppy’s Café car park extension

Work on the Poppy’s Café car park extension is well underway, with completion due in mid -2020. 

The works will provide an additional 123 car parking spaces for Memorial visitors. There will also be a temporary car park (to be in place for approximately five years) installed on top of the basement car park, providing 115 car spaces for construction workers involved in the development project.

The temporary car park site will be returned to a native plant-based landscape at the end of the project.


poppys cafe

Poppy’s Café car park extension

Expanded parade ground

We will be expanding and re-profiling the parade ground to address accessibility constraints, enhance site security and accommodate increased visitor attendance at events.

Expanded parade ground and the new southern entrance

Expanded parade ground and the new southern entrance

Precinct improvement works

A number of other works will occur to improve access to the various parts of the precinct:

  • a new path from the western surface carpark to the new southern entrance which will enable a safe journey for visitors in all weather, and complies with all relevant requirements to provide disabled access
  • a new path from the tour bus parking area in the east of the precinct through to the education entrance, which will remove the requirement for buses to park along the eastern road, improving safety and the connectivity of the precinct
  • conversion of the western and eastern roads to shared zones to improve the pedestrian experience
  • improved connectivity for visitor movement around the precinct.
overview of public realm

Overview of proposed public realm works


Project timeline

2018     Development project announced by the Prime Minister, Hon, Scott Morrison MP

2019     Early works begin

2020     Anzac Hall site preparations begin

2021     Southern entrance works begin

2022     Southern entrance external works complete

2023     Anzac Hall and glazed link open, southern entrance opens, C.E.W. Bean Building and Research Centre open

2024     Main building lower refurbishments and galleries begin

2025     Main building upper refurbishments begin

2028     Project complete


Engaging our veterans

Kylie Hasse

Engaging veterans and their families on the development project is a key priority for Government and the Memorial.

As part of our continuing story, we have featured nine current and recent service men and women. Each has a story to tell and their stories form a vital part of our narrative. They are a small group representing the broader vision for the project — through their eyes, we see their sacrifice, service, mateship and courage.

Our team managing the development project, including the new exhibitions and galleries, has significant veteran and defence family representation, and includes a reservist, two former Australian Defence Force personnel, and six members of defence families.

Veteran employment was a key selection criterion for the award of our first construction contract ­– the Poppy’s Café car park extension. The successful contractor was awarded the contract in part based on their comprehensive veteran engagement and employment plan. This plan will see three to five veterans engaged in full-time roles on this part of the project. The contractor has committed to providing development opportunities for at least one of these veterans. The site induction process for the car park works will include a talk by a veteran who will explain to workers the importance of the Memorial and the project to veterans and the Australian community.

Future construction contracts will include veteran and defence family employment programs.

Our Memorial is here to tell our veterans’ stories, and we want to ensure they have every opportunity to be involved in the project.


Find out more

To view our plans, scale model and learn more about our continuing story, you can visit our on-site Information Gallery. Located outside Poppy’s Café, the Information Gallery is open daily from 8.15 am to 4.30 pm.  

Information Gallery

Information gallery

You can also subscribe to our new quarterly e-newsletter Our Next Chapter for project updates and public consultation information.

Our Next Chapter quarterly e-newsletter