Monday, 1 September 2014
Questions without Notice
I thank the senator for his question. I remind honourable senators and indeed members of the community that this is Legacy Week. I encourage all senators to buy a badge and support the work of this fantastic organisation.
As you would be aware, the Centenary of Anzac is our nation's most defining period of commemoration, reflection and remembrance. I am very pleased today to announce a further 119 grants worth more than $975,000 across 47 electorates under the Anzac Centenary local grants program. As the honourable senator is aware, in the budget this year we increased funding to the 150 lower house members by $3.75 million, taking it to $18.75 million, and nearly 330 grants have now been approved under the project.
We are determined to ensure that it does not matter where Australians live—metropolitan, regional or rural—that they have the best opportunity to participate in the Centenary of Anzac. I was very pleased to be at Point Nepean, on 5 August, for the first-shot commemoration. Some $10,000 was put into funding the electorate of Flinders under the program.
Many communities across Australia did have a number of commemorative events to mark the beginning of the First World War as well as the first recruitment drives conducted to support the Australian naval and military expedition which set out for the then German New Guinea in August 1914.
The communities across Australia have come forward with some fantastic programs, and it is my great honour to be carefully considering those. There are some 1,700 applications— (Time expired)
I acknowledge the hard work of Senator Williams in regional New South Wales. He does a fantastic job. The Coffs Harbour RSL has benefited from over $24,000 for displays and commemorative events around Anzac Day next year. There will be a military tattoo at the Camden Show in 2015. At the Casula High School in Werriwa they will construct a new memorial, and at Thirroul war memorial $3,600 will be spent replacing pavers.
There will also be $37,000 spent re-enacting the Kangaroo march—the recruitment march that went from Wagga Wagga to Campbelltown in 1915. Senator Williams will be pleased to know that the Tenterfield Show Society has been granted $1,500 to advertise events for the show next February, which will focus on the Centenary of Anzac.
In the electorate of Parkes, more than $37,000 worth of applications have been approved— (Time expired)
I again thank Senator Williams for his question. In mid-July this year I wrote to all members in the other place to say that if they had not expended their $125,000 then the opportunity was open until the end of September for projects to be topped up or to submit new projects. Some projects required extra funding, and if the members in the other place require extra funding then they should apply. I should also say that the Saluting Their Service grants program is also taking applications for projects which commemorate the Centenary of Anzac. This has been a fantastic program, and when you see the breadth of activities that local communities throughout Australia have submitted under this program, Mr President, you will be proud, as I am and as I am sure all honourable senators will be. This will be a marvellous period of commemoration.