Turning of the first sod on the ANZAC Memorial Centenary Project
I was pleased to join with the NSW Premier Mike Baird and special guests to turn the first sod on the redevelopment of the ANZAC memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Saturday the 20th August 2016.
The three year project will upgrade the memorial to house a new education and interpretative centre below ground, a second cascading water feature and complete various minor landscaping works.
When construction began in 1934, the architect Bruce Dellit wrote that “the ANZAC Memorial design is intended to express with dignity and simplicity neither the glory nor the glamour of war but these nobler attributes of human nature which the great tragedy of nations so vividly brought forth – courage, endurance and sacrifice.” The project was unfortunately unable to be finished due to financial strain placed upon the then State Government by the Great Depression. Eighty years on it is fitting that we realise Bruce Dellit’s original vision of Sydney’s ANZAC memorial.
Led by the NSW Government the total project cost is $63.7 million with contributions by the Commonwealth’s Anzac Centenary Public fund ($19.6 million), the NSW Government ($36.6 million) and the City of Sydney ($7.5 million) which will continue to maintain the memorial precinct going forward.
By redeveloping the memorial we can continue our commitment to honouring the significant contribution and sacrifice our ADF members continue to make in keeping our nation and way of life safe.
The Commonwealth Government is proud to be able to contribute to this important project as part of its broader four year Centenary of Anzac program, preserving and enhancing the legacy of our service men and women, and I look forward to returning at the completion of the works in 2018, 100 years on from the end of World War 1.