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Coalition condemns the undermining of ANZAC Day

Joint media release

Shadow Minister for Education, Senator for Victoria, Senator Sarah Henderson
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP

The radical efforts of a teachers’ group to call for ANZAC Day to be “dismantled” and to falsely link Australia’s World War I soldiers to the conflict in Gaza, has been condemned by the Coalition.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, said the rise of radical anti-ANZAC sentiment was being encouraged by a string of Labor government policies to dilute the importance of the day including making the ANZAC holiday optional and exchangeable for the nation’s 350,000 Commonwealth public servants.

Both the Shadow Minister for Education, Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, and Mr Joyce said the actions of the Teachers and School Staff for Palestine were appalling.

“The attempts to link the sacrifice of our ANZACs to this sort of activism is not only misguided but deeply disrespectful to the men and women who served our country, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Senator Henderson said.

“Our classrooms should be places of objective learning, not indoctrination. It is not the role of educators to push political agendas or promote divisive ideologies”, she said.

Mr Joyce said radical groups were taking their lead from the Labor government which had embarked on a pattern of policies to dilute the importance of remembering the sacrifice of Australians in war.

“They are watering down the seminal day of the soul of our nation which is ANZAC Day”, Mr Joyce said.

“If you live in this nation and benefit from the freedoms of this nation, then you better respect the people who fought and died; and those who were maimed; and their families who got turned upside down to give today’s generation the right to live life with all of our freedoms and liberties”, Mr Joyce said.

He said the first decision of the Prime Minister when he won office and appointed a new Ministry was to dump the Minister for Veterans Affairs from his Cabinet.

“Then Labor made the ANZAC public holiday optional for Commonwealth servants before embarking on a campaign to politicise the Australian War Memorial by forcing it to showcase the so-called frontier wars. In this environment, it is little wonder radical teacher groups feel they have the greenlight to dilute the importance of ANZAC Day in our classrooms”, he said.

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