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War Memorial’s stinging response to stories about their accounts

By johnboy - 17 February 2011 1

There have been a few stories floating around about the operations of the War Memorial.

Mostly my take on this is there’s some dog whistling going on to make it look like the ALP hates dead diggers. (perhaps as opposed to embracing a reverential death cult).

But the Director of the Memorial Steve Gower has seen fit to release a withering response:

The Memorial is confident that the Government is addressing the issues that have been raised. Ministers for Department of Finance and Deregulation and Veterans’ Affairs are reviewing the situation and we await the outcome. In the meantime, the Memorial has a balanced Budget for 2010/11 and will work within the funding levels available. The Memorial continues to be a significant national institution of which all Australians can be very proud.

The important thing to remember is that you can love your country, those who serve it, and the war memorial, without committing to ever expanded funding for the AWM.

What’s Your opinion?


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War Memorial’s stinging response to stories about their accounts
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aleturner 12:09 pm 17 Feb 11

The fact is that the AWM, like every other major cultural institution in this city, is absolutely low on funding, and continually slogged by the efficiency dividend. Perhaps, johnboy, you should take a look at the AWM’s annual report for a reality check on the size of funding and the output (and the same for other places).

The War Memorial does not get ‘every expanded funding’, and a capital injection every so often is actually a double-edged sword: government’s want to open new buildings and the like, but not to fund the staff and services to keep them open.

Your cynical view is completely misplaced, and ignores the fact that every year the AWM and other institutions must make real budget decisions that more often than not lead to people losing their jobs, and more and more jobs becoming contract positions without long-term certainty. Gower, for all his problems, and every other director has the jobs of highly-qualified and talented people in his hands–so let him dog-whistle if it keeps a few people employed, and a huge number of tourists coming through the doors.

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