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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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Friday, 22 May 2015


After a thorough examination at the Frankston Cemetery Complex of all 158 Official Commemorations of Australian Solders interred there I can confirm that seven sites have been damaged as part of an outrageous act of theft and vandalism.

The desecration of any memorial or gravesite is highly disturbing but it is particularly disappointing to see the Official Commemorations of those who gave their lives for our nation defaced in this manner.

The Australian Government, through the Office of Australian War Graves, is responsible for Officially Commemorating Australian servicemen and servicewomen who die in war or as a result of conflict.

Temporary plaques will be placed at the seven vandalised sites and permanent replacements will be ordered immediately.

It is expected to take approximately a month for the new permanent plaques to be manufactured and installed. There will be no costs to the families of the men and women affected.

I would encourage anyone with any information about this matter to contact Victoria Police.

Media enquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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