AU govt backs down on Lone Pine

  • 28/02/2016
Lone Pine ceremony (AAP)
Lone Pine ceremony (AAP)

Outrage over an Australian federal government decision to pull the pin on the Anzac Day Lone Pine service at Gallipoli has sparked a backdown.

A wreath-laying ceremony at Lone Pine will take place on the afternoon before Anzac Day this year.

Incoming Veterans' Affairs Minister Dan Tehan announced the compromise on Sunday and says a formal service commemorating the Battle of Lone Pine will also be held in August.

"Holding the service on the appropriate anniversary gives it proper recognition and ensures the wider public has a greater understanding and acknowledgement of the importance of this battle," Mr Tehan said in a statement.

Lone Pine was the site of some of the fiercest fighting of the entire Gallipoli campaign.

Australians attacked Lone Pine in Turkey on August 6, 1915 and there were 2300 Australian casualties and 7000 Turkish deaths. Seven Victoria Crosses were awarded.

Mr Tehan said Australians and other visitors will be welcome to attend the simple wreath-laying ceremony at Lone Pine on April 24.

On Anzac Day itself, Lone Pine will be open to visitors to lay wreaths and reflect in their own time, he said.

Former minister Stuart Robert flagged the Lone Pine service was under review for terrorism and safety reasons back in November.

He cited risks to Australians and New Zealanders attending multiple services with little sleep and expressed concerns about the Lone Pine service being held in an exposed and isolated location.

NZN