Long Tan ANZAC Day service still doubtful

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today said Australians planning to visit the Long Tan Cross site in Vietnam for Anzac Day commemorations should be aware of the current situation.

“It is important to ensure that all Australians planning to travel to Vietnam, and particularly the Long Tan Cross site, are aware of the current situation so they can manage their expectations and travel arrangements in advance of Anzac Day 2017,” Mr Tehan said.

In August 2016, the Vietnamese Government did not permit the planned Long Tan 50th anniversary commemoration service to take place at the Long Tan Cross site.

The Australian Government is continuing discussions with the Vietnamese Government about future commemorations in support of Australian veterans.

The Vietnamese Government had indicated previously that small groups of people may be granted access to the Long Tan Cross site for private visits, though this could change at short notice.

It remains unclear if the Vietnamese authorities will permit official commemorations and a final formal Vietnamese Government decision is yet to be taken.

The Australian Government cannot commit to holding an official commemoration at the Long Tan site on Anzac Day 2017 until the Vietnamese Government provide official advice.

The Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs have renewed their requests to their Vietnamese counterparts that Vietnam allow official commemorative services on Anzac Day and Vietnam Veterans Day at the Long Tan site.

“The Australian Government respects Vietnam’s right as a sovereign nation to determine the nature of any foreign commemorations held in its country,” Mr Tehan said.

“We appreciate Vietnam’s cooperation over many years in facilitating access to the Long Tan Cross site and allowing low-key official commemorative services to occur.

“The Australian Government will continue to update veterans and the Australian public on developments.”

Further information will be available at smartraveller.gov.au and the Australian Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City website.

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Brian Hartigan

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