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Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act consultation report – April 2020

During November 2019 and January 2020, the Memorial conducted extensive public consultation for the development of our Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act Preliminary Documentation.

This included:

  • 46 face-to-face information and community drop-in sessions across all the states and territories between November 2019 and January 2020
  • an online, demographically representative survey, specifically targeted at understanding community responses to the likely impact of the project on the Memorial’s social heritage values. This survey was conducted in February 2020.

These two consultation programs resulted in feedback regarding the project from more than 1,000 Australians.  This feedback has been used to inform both the assessment documentation and further development of our project plans.

Following this extensive consultation process a second phase of public consultation took place in July 2020, offering a four week period for the public to comment the draft Preliminary Documentation. 

During this time the Memorial engaged with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and other government agencies on heritage matters and continued to undertake detailed design refinement.

This public and government feedback has driven changes to the July 2020 Preliminary Documentation and contributed greatly to the Memorial’s Final Preliminary Documentation.

Changes derived from this process include more than 50 updates, clarifications or changes to project documentation and supporting attachments. Although the core project proposal remains largely unchanged, considerable work has been undertaken to reduce heritage impacts identified through this process. This is reflected in substantial design detail changes to the proposed New Anzac Hall, Glazed Link and Oculus elements in particular.

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.

The Memorial has been the centre of national commemoration since it opened in 1941 and continues to be so today. This project will provide the Memorial with the capacity to fulfil this role for generations to come and ensure it can continue to tell contemporary stories of service and sacrifice well into the future.

Given the merits of the proposal, including large social heritage benefits for all Australians and with strong support from the veterans’ community, the Memorial considers this proposal to be in the public interest and believes that it warrants the approval of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the EPBC Act 1999 and the support of the broader community.

The Final Preliminary Documentation is now available on the Memorial’s website here.

 

Consultation report overview

The consultation feedback demonstrates broad support for the expansion of the Memorial to enable it to tell the continuing story of Australian men and women who have served our nation in recent conflicts, and on peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. It further demonstrates that veterans and their families in particular see a need for the Memorial to tell their stories with the same dignity and respect that are given to the stories of those who fought in earlier wars.

This support is demonstrated in particular by the low rates of objection to the project by key stakeholders as represented by the veterans and defence family communities (<2% ‘not supportive’), and by the overall Australian public (<5% ‘not supportive’).

Consultation also revealed that the primary concern of participants was generally not focused on the impact of the project on the physical heritage fabric or on the design of new buildings, though commentary was generally positive on both. Rather, people’s focus was on how and what stories should be told. The online survey further demonstrates the positive social heritage and social values outcomes that are expected to be generated by the project. Similarly, consultation reveals a high lack of concern about the environmental impact and outcomes of the project among key stakeholders.

Past consultations

2019–2020

Between November 2019 and January 2020 we held 46 face-to-face information and community drop-in sessions across all the states and territories. These are detailed in the above consultation report.

2018

We conducted an eight-week stakeholder consultation process, from 2 August to 26 September 2018, seeking feedback on the proposed development project.

A series of public workshops and forums were held across Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Townsville. A dedicated email address, webpage and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn) also enabled stakeholders to provide written feedback.

Download AWM Early Works Consultation Report (PDF file)

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a series of frequently asked questions relating to the Development Project. 

If you have additional questions, or wish to provide feedback on the project, please email development@awm.gov.au.

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