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23 April 2013
The 2015 Centenary of the Gallipoli landings on ANZAC Day is heading for disaster because the Australian Government is ignoring an option showing more people can be accommodated at the site, a Deakin University academic argues.
Dr John Basarin, a research fellow with the university and a Project Manager with Gallipoli-2015 who is currently in Turkey, said by holding a dawn and dusk ceremony at the North Beach site –a total of 20,000 people could be accommodated instead of the 10500 people as currently proposed.
“By holding dawn and dusk ceremonies at Lone Pine and Chunuk and broadcasting the ceremony from the main site via video link an additional 20,000 people could be accommodated,” he said.
Dr Basarin’s comments were reiterated as debate continues over the Federal Government’s plans to manage attendance at the site.
“As I am getting ready to participate at my 12th Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli with the 12 students from Broadmeadows, I ponder the question of 2015 attendance, two years from now,” he said.
“The planning of the invasion in 1915, took only 36 days.
“It was a great success, with 8,000 ANZAC soldiers landing within 4 hours, with only a handful of casualties.
“The planning for the centenary has been on the public agenda for several years now with a major report, several committees, eminent Australians, Government allocating many millions of dollars, yet we are no further forward.”
Dr Basarin said the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Mr Snowdon, last year argued the Anzac Ceremonial Site at North Beach could hold only 10,500 people.
“Excluding the VIPs of 500, there would be 10,000 places, 8,000 for Australians and 2,000 for New Zealanders,” he said.
“These people would then walk 3.4 km up to Lone Pine where the capacity is 8,000, for the Australian national ceremony there or even further to Chunuk Bair where the capacity is 2,000, for the New Zealand national ceremony.
“The reasons given were security, safety, amenity and comfort of those attending and the need to ensure ceremonies were appropriate for the occasion.”
In his Deakin Speaking blog written last year, Dr Basarin outlines a number of problems with the proposed ballot including scalping, no-show, illness, group travel, accommodation on Gallipoli Peninsula, weather, traffic arrangements and the possibility of a large group of back-packers who will want to travel at the last minute from Europe or particularly UK where there are around one million expatriates.
He says the other option, accommodating 40,000 people would provide the best and the optimum solution.
“There is unlikely to be capacity issue, hence all Australians and New Zealanders wishing to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event can do so,” he said.
“The security, safety and the comfort of the participants are not compromised. In fact, the security is enhanced where only the VIPs will be allowed to move from one location to the other.
“The traffic management would be enhanced where the buses can be dispersed to the three locations and congestion issues are minimised.
“Any adverse weather issue, such as heavy rain, will not be a show-stopper.
“The facilities and amenities will be utilised twice thus making it cost effective.
“The systems set-up for the event can be utilised without much alteration, making it easy to administer the process.
“The need to wait in the cold overnight can be minimised by allocating places to people as well as some only experiencing the daytime event.
“It is also much friendlier to invalids, elderly, unfit and the disabled.”
Read the blog by clicking here:
Dr John Basarin
Research Fellow, Deakin Graduate School of Business
Mobile +90-538-760-7030 in Turkey
Dr John Basarin - 2015 Gallipoli celebrations can take more people