Anzac Day 2020 update

The Minister has now made this announcement on ABC News TV and also mentioned that the AWM will be holding a televised service and that it won’t be the large gathering it has been in previous years.

The PM will formally announce at 0900hrs AEDST this morning 18 March.

Minister Chester was on ABC News Breakfast at 7.10am and answered questions about Anzac Day 2020 where he announced the cancellation of overseas Anzac Day services for this year.

Talking Points if needed.

• ANZAC Day is one of the most important days in our national calendar.

• The Government is working in close partnership with state and territory governments, the RSL and the ex-service community to ensure Australians are able to commemorate Anzac Day this year in a meaningful way.

• I understand following the cancellation of services domestically there have already been campaigns starting on social media encouraging the public to commemorate this significant day from their own home.

• All Australians have the opportunity to pause and reflect on the service and sacrifice of the over 102,000 Australians who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

• We will provide further advice and information on arrangements on how Australians can mark this sacred day and show their respect to our Defence personnel.

Overseas services:

• The Australian Government has today made the difficult decision to cancel all Australian-led overseas Anzac Day services.

• This decision has not been made lightly and has taken into consideration a number of key factors, primarily concerns about the welfare of Australians and other visitors travelling to Anzac Day services as well as views of host nations regarding visitors and large gatherings, the impact on health systems of overseas nations, and the welfare of staff and contractors travelling overseas.

• The decision to cancel these services was made in close consultation with health authorities and with host nations, taking into account their response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

•The health and safety of all Australians attending commemorative events is our number one priority and any decision had to be made in the interests of public safety and the interest of our veteran community.  

• Given this decision, we recognise some Australians may need to change or cancel previously arranged plans.

• Australians who have registered to attend these events will be notified immediately.

Anzac Day in Australia:

• The Government is working with state and territories, and the RSL to ensure all Australians are able to commemorate Anzac Day this year in a meaningful way

• The Australian War Memorial is planning to broadcast the national Dawn Service to support individual reflection on this important day, however, this service will not be open to the public.

• State and territory governments are looking at similar measures.