The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, today said arrangements were in place for the 2016 Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux.
“The security of those attending is of course our main priority, and the Australian Government continues to work closely with our partner, the New Zealand Government, and our hosts, the French and Turkish Governments, to ensure the safety and well-being of visitors attending,” Mr Tehan said.
Australians attending commemorations in Turkey or France this year are reminded that there is no ballot system for attendance, but are advised to subscribe to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s smartraveller website for updates on security arrangements and register on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.
Australians attending the commemorations in Gallipoli will need to prepare for conditions on the peninsula, including taking enough food and water, preparing for extreme weather and allowing enough time to transit through security checkpoints.
“The Gallipoli Anzac Day Dawn Service is held in an isolated area within a national park which has no permanent infrastructure or shelter. Visitors are exposed to the elements for up to 24 hours and should prepare accordingly,” Mr Tehan said.
“Australians attending the services should allow plenty of time to pass through security screening points (which will be similar to airport style security measures). Turkish authorities are responsible for security at Anzac Day commemorations.”
Mr Tehan also reminded Australians that this year there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the Lone Pine Memorial at approximately 3.00 pm local time on 24 April.
“Visitors to the Gallipoli peninsula will be able to visit the Lone Pine Memorial on the 24th or 25th of April, and this year’s official service will be on the anniversary of the battle which is on the 6th August.”
On Anzac Day, 25 April, visitors to the Lone Pine Memorial will be able to place a memorial wooden cross or a poppy at the Memorial or on one of the 651 graves of Australian’s who are buried in the Lone Pine Cemetery. The wooden crosses and poppies will be available to visitors free of change.
Visitors to the Lone Pine Memorial Cemetery and Memorial will be able to listen to a historical talk which will occur every half-hour between 8.00 am until 11.00 am on 25 April.
Arrangements for the 2016 Anzac Day Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux are also finalised and after cold and wet weather there in 2015, Mr Tehan advised Australians to take necessary precautions.
“The weather in the Somme region on April can be close to freezing in the morning and hot in the afternoon, so visitors need to be well prepared. New security arrangements will be in place for 2016. Entering the site may take longer than in previous years, it’s a good idea to arrive in plenty of time,” Mr Tehan said.
The Anzac Day Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneux will be conducted at 5.30 am local time, and a service will be held at 2.00 pm on the same day at the Commonwealth and French Monuments in the Bullecourt village centre.
Additional information of the commemorative services for Anzac Day in Turkey and France can be found at http://www.dva.gov.au/