Dear ESORT members,
For your information, please find below comments made by Minister Chester over the weekend regarding Anzac Day arrangements.
“The response to Coronavirus is a rapidly developing situation which the Federal Government is monitoring closely in partnership with State and Territory Governments and the community.
“It is too soon to declare a final position on Anzac Day services and the Government will work with commemorative event organisers in the coming weeks.
“State, territory and local governments in consultation with their local RSLs are responsible for domestic Anzac Day services. The recommendation to limit gatherings to under 500 people will undoubtedly affect these services and organisers will need to ensure they advise the public early of their plans to keep people safe.
“The Federal Government is engaging with the Australian War Memorial regarding the National Anzac Day service in Canberra and will provide further advice as it comes to hand.
“In terms of international events, many people are understandably concerned about the outbreak of COVID-19 and its potential impacts on major commemorative services in France and Turkey.
“The Federal Government has updated our travel advice to Australians to reconsider all non-essential overseas travel.
“While these services are run each year by the Australian Government through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, we all need to be mindful that they are delivered in countries other than our own and we need to respect any decisions those countries make in relation to COVID-19.
“Anzac Day services in Turkey and France hold a special significance to many Australians who have relatives that fought and died there during the First World War. We are working with the host nations and will provide updates as they come to hand.
“Similarly, we are monitoring the situation in the Asia-Pacific where large Anzac Day events are traditionally held in Thailand, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. Further information will be provided to people intending to attend these events as soon as it’s available.”