[First filed: Oct 20, 2010 @ 10:08]
Liberal Senator Gary Humphries is in high dudgeon that
War World the Australian War Memorial is so strapped for cash amongst its massive expansion programs that it briefly considered, and then discarded, the option of closing one day a week to save money for other things.
In Senate Estimates on Tuesday night, the War Memorial’s Director confirmed that consideration was given, although not ultimately actioned, to close the Memorial one day per week because of Labor’s funding cuts.
“I am appalled that Labor’s budgetary ineptitude is to be paid for by the Australian War Memorial”, Senator Gary Humphries said today.
“Labor’s track record on War Memorial funding is a disgrace, with revelations last year that the solemn ‘Last Post’ ceremony would have to be funded by a corporate sponsor following Labor’s funding cuts.
“As Australia prepares to commemorate the important centenary milestones of the Great War, including the landing at Gallipoli, surely now is not the time to cut funding.
Cue harrumphing from the sections of the public which buy Peter Fitzsimmons’ books.
In the short term it might be well played by the AWM; raising fears of service cuts to ensure further funding. But in the long term becoming enemies of Labor is a risky business.
As a country we really need to decide if an ever more elaborate memorial to ever smaller numbers of veterans is really where we want to go? Or perhaps we should spend a bit more time and energy looking to windward?
UPDATE: Another day another outrage against the community and dead diggers. Gary is sticking his head out of the trenches in support of Christmas carols at the War Memorial:
In Senate Estimates on Tuesday night, the War Memorial’s Director revealed that the annual Canberra tradition won’t take place this year due to budget cuts by the Government.
“This is a bridge too far. This government is so incompetent it’s prepared to ruin Christmas,” Senator Gary Humphries said today.
“Thousands of Canberrans look forward to the annual coming together of our community for carols at the War Memorial.
“This has been an event at the cultural heart of our community.
“While ‘Labor’s representatives in Canberra’ are busy sticking to the party line, their party is undermining our community culturally and physically.
I’m sure the soldiers of the British 1st Airborne Division wiped out at Arnhem would appreciate Gary appropriating their memory for a funding spat over Christmas Carols.