Paying for the right to celebrate Anzac Day

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Thousands of Australian servicemen and women gave their lives defending, among other things, the democratic right to assembly and free speech.
Nanjing Night Net

Their sacrifice is commemorated in towns and citiesevery Anzac Day when generations of Australians gather to remember and honour the deeds of our Diggers.

It is hard to believe that a day as sacred and significant as Anzac Day could be threatened because RSL sub-branches cannot afford the cost of providing security for their marches.

But as much as we may shudder at the thought of an Anzac Day march becoming a terrorist target, the reality is that proud symbols of freedomhave become potentialtargets for those seeking to destroy our democracy.

Melbourne police foiled a plot in which a man planned to behead a police officer during a 2015 Anzac march.

The Islamic State terrorist attack on Bastille Day celebrations in France last year served as another soberreminder of the potential threat, even if it is small, on similar gatherings in Australia.

It is logical that extra security precautions may be needed in the present climate, particularly in large city gatherings, but how much is necessary and who should pay?

Four Blue MountainsRSL sub-branches have already indicated they are unable to pay the thousands of dollars required to install additional security barriers along their march routes this year.

In the Hunter, sub-branches around Maitland are calculating how much it may cost to protectAnzac Day services. They readily acknowledge that withoutassistance these costs may be prohibitive.

In Newcastle, the city council will continue to underwrite the cost of traffic management and security measures. This will allow the city’s mainservices to continue as they have in past years.

As much as the idea of providing extra security to protect Anzac Day services will be an affront to many Australians, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Hopefully any security measures that are needed will not take away from the tradition and spirit of the services. All levels of government can playa role in sharing the costs of providing the necessarysecurity.

One thing is certain though, RSL sub-branches should not be required to pay to hold Anzac Day services.

Issue: 38,439

Comments are closed.