Transcript - Remembrance Day on the Central Coast

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Lucy Wicks: My constituency question is to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. Will the Minister outline to the House how the Government has been working to honour our veterans in this Centenary of Anzac year, including in my electorate of Robertson and particularly ahead of Remembrance Day on Wednesday?

Stuart Robert, Minister for Veterans' Affairs: Let me thank the Member for Robertson for her question and note the 2,600 veterans and their families she has in her electorate. And I thank her for her work in representing them.

There is a serious point to this week in terms of Remembrance Day. I know people from right across this country, including in this House, will pause this Wednesday at 11 o'clock, symbolising when the guns went silent on the Western Front at 11 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

It is a serious time for us to stop and reflect. It is 100 years since the Anzac landing; 100 years since the Anzac corps was established. Of course many would go fighting at Gallipoli and many more on the Western Front.  

For the next four years there will be a range of commemoration activities right across the country, and the government will continue to progressively roll out those activities overseas. Those interested can go to Anzaccentenary.gov.au to see the domestic agenda for what is happening in terms of commemoration. 

But as all members know the heart and soul of commemoration in this country at Anzac Day and Remembrance Day is what happens in electorates and what happens in communities. It is wonderful to see the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program, which has been a bipartisan program, with over 1,600 different grants across 150 electorates have been used so exceptionally well. I note that over eight different grants have been used in the electorate of the member for Robertson. 

As many of our communities gather together, I note in the member for Robertson's electorate there will be gatherings at the Woy Woy Ettalong-Hardy's Bay RSL Sub-Branch, the Gosford RSL Sub-Branch, the Terrigal Wamberal RSL Sub-Branch, the Vietnam Veterans Peacekeepers and Peacemakers Association Gosford City Sub-Branch and the Davistown RSL Sub-Branch. People at those sub-branches will genuinely gather, as many of those will across both aisles, to remember what is happening. 

It is also pleasing to see the Saluting Their Service Commemorative Grants—up to $4,000—is available for local communities for all of the electorates here. Within the member for Robertson's electorate, the Davistown club RSL sub-branch will receive $7,000 for two projects: upgrading their war memorial surrounds and the purpose of four plaques for their memorial wall. Likewise, the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club in the members' electorate will receive $4,000 to construct a community memorial at the club in Umina. Lastly, the Radar Air Defence Branch of RAAF Association will receive $600 for a commemorative banner. 

So I thank the member for her advocacy for those projects, and I encourage all of us this Wednesday to pause to remember those who have gone before, remember those who fought for our country, remember those who paid the ultimate price, and remember that freedom is not free.

Making things happen for Robertson

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