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National Capital Authority approves final stage of Australian War Memorial redevelopment | The Canberra Times


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The National Capital Authority has approved the final stage of the $500 million Australian War Memorial redevelopment. The NCA on Wednesday confirmed that it had approved three packages of work following a public consultation, green-lighting a project that was first announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in 2018. The memorial sought approval for “the development of new and expanded exhibition spaces, expanded research areas and improved access to the site for people of all abilities through new arrival facilities at the southern entrance,” according to a statement from the NCA. The approval followed community consultation between July 31 and September 10, which found 73 per cent of 587 submissions supported the works. However, 59 per cent of the 112 submissions from ACT residents did not support the proposal. “The NCA concluded that the proposed works have been designed in a manner to strengthen the geometry of the Griffins’ Plan, with the alterations strengthening built elements of the site and the Land Axis,” the NCA’s statement said. “The proposal is an evolution of the AWM which is widely accepted as a successful reinterpretation of the 1918 Griffin Plan.” The redevelopment proposal has drawn heavy criticism from a number of opponents, including former war memorial directors and defence chiefs along with heritage and environmental advocates. Early submissions to consultation revealed concentrated backlash against the demolition of Anzac Hall and the planned felling of more than a hundred trees around the grounds. The Auditor-General Grant Hehir in July proposed a probe into the Australian War Memorial’s processes and planning for the project among its list of potential performance audits for the 2021-22 period. “Matters of cost and need for the redevelopment were addressed previously by the Australian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Works (PWC) and considered and agreed to by elected representatives from across Australia before the Works Approval was submitted to the NCA for consideration,” the NCA said. “Curatorial matters and the content of displays are not matters for the NCA and were not considered as part of the consultation process.” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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