p>The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today said Australians travelling to Villers-Bretonneux, France, for 2011 Anzac Day commemorations can now register online to stay up-to-date with important information.
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
10 February 2011
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today said Australians travelling to Villers-Bretonneux, France, for 2011 Anzac Day commemorations can now register online to stay up-to-date with important information.
Mr Snowdon said registration for Villers-Bretonneux Anzac Day commemorations had been introduced in response to growing interest.
“Villers-Bretonneux is an important commemorative site with special significance for Australians. The re-taking of the village of Villers-Bretonneux on the night of 24-25 April 1918 was a significant military achievement for Australia that helped stop the German’s spring offensive.
“The site of the Dawn Service, the Australian National Memorial, honours the 295,000 Australians who fought on the Western Front during the First World War and the 46,000 who were killed there.
“In 2009 about 3,000 people attended the Villers-Bretonneux commemorations, in 2010 this increased to 3,500, with 4,000 expected in 2011 – so we’re finding ways to support those Australians attending.
“For many Australians, attending Anzac Day commemorations at a historic site is the trip of a lifetime but it is important they come prepared. Following the success of the registration service piloted for Gallipoli in 2010, we’ve extended this service for those travelling to Villers-Bretonneux in 2011.
“The online registration services provide travellers with helpful information on what to bring and what to expect over the commemorative period. The updates are communicated via text message and/or email, and may include changes to traffic arrangements, site opening times, weather conditions or in the event of an emergency.”
In Villers-Bretonneux, last minute changes to services may occur in the event of bad weather; while at Gallipoli, visitors arrive onsite from 6pm on 24 April and are exposed to the elements for up to 24-hours so tips on what to bring are essential.
“The Gallipoli update service proved invaluable in 2010 when a volcanic eruption saw travel plans interrupted for many people trying to get to overseas Anzac Day commemorations,” Mr Snowdon said.
Registration is not mandatory, nor a ticketing system for the commemorations – but a way for Australian travellers to stay informed of important updates.
The services are optional and people can still attend Anzac Day commemorations in Villers-Bretonneux and Gallipoli if they have not registered.
Mr Snowdon encouraged Australians planning to travel to Villers-Bretonneux or Gallipoli for Anzac Day in 2011 to register their interest to ensure they make the most of their experience.
To register for Villers-Bretonneux updates visit www.franceregistration.com
To register for Gallipoli updates visit www.gallipoliregistration.com. For more information about Anzac Day commemorations in France or Gallipoli visit www.dva.gov.au/anzac
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999
Dept of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203