PM to visit Albany

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Julia Gillard will visit Albany on Thursday to get a first-hand look at the city’s plans for 2014 centenary commemorations.

Picture: Steve Ferrier

O’Connor MP Tony Crook yesterday confirmed the Prime Minister would make a brief stopover in Albany after visiting Esperance on the same day.

It is expected Ms Gillard will make an announcement while in Albany, but details are unknown.

“She is specifically here to reinforce the Anzac centenary project for Albany, which is fantastic, it clearly shows that it is well and truly on the government’s agenda,” Mr Crook said.

“It will give her the opportunity to look at the Albany Anzac 8proposal.

“Obviously I will also be using the time I have got with the Prime Minister to talk about issues in WA, specifically the carbon and mining taxes.”

Albany Centenary of Anzac Alliance chairman Peter Aspinall said he would welcome the 8opportunity to brief Ms Gillard on Albany’s significant place in the Anzac story.

“The opportunity to get the Prime Minister to come and listen and be part of a full understanding of the concept we have got for Albany’s centenary commemoration is just a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

Late last month the Federal Government committed $250,000 to a scoping study into an interpretive centre on Mt 8Adelaide.

Mr Aspinall said it would be “wonderful” if Ms Gillard made an announcement that would fast-track the 8process. He is also hopeful of her announcing any details about a possible re-enactment of the departure of ships carrying soldiers to World War I from Albany.

Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Graham Harvey said funding for the Anzac centenary was a key issue.

“We need to know what the Government’s national plans are for the commemoration of Anzac, and we need to specifically know Albany’s role in those plans,” Mr Harvey said.

Other issues Mr Harvey hoped to quiz Ms Gillard on include talk of GST on retail goods under $1000 and its impact, and the impact of the carbon tax on small business.

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