The Liberals and Nationals will provide the additional $10 million needed to commence construction of the new National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum on its new site at Phillip Island.
The museum currently operates out of a small and ageing facility on a Phillip Island site that is no longer fit-for-purpose.
The total capital project cost is $50 million, with stage one – which includes relocation to the new site and the beginning of construction – costing $25 million.
Shadow Minister for Veterans, Tim Bull, said the funding would address a shortfall from the State Government.
“Despite the project receiving $5 million in funding from the Coalition Federal Government, for some strange reason the Andrews Labor Government only recently committed $10 million of the $20 million required for stage one to commence, leaving a shortfall for work on the new site to start,” Mr Bull said.
“The Liberals and Nationals will provide the additional funds so work can begin.
The Nationals Candidate for Bass, Brett Tessari, said maintenance costs at the current site, where only few items can be displayed, are skyrocketing.
“The committee purchased the new site some time ago and has since been chasing the funds to start work on a state-of-the-art building that will become a major tourist attraction on the island,” Mr Tessari said.
“It really is an exciting project for the region. I have met the group on a few occasions now and will not sit by and leave this volunteer committee and Vietnam veterans in limbo.”
Liberal Candidate for Bass, Aaron Brown, said he had met with museum board members and was pleased to turn their vision into reality.
“When completed, it includes expansive gardens and pathways to allow for commemoration and reflection,” Mr Brown said.
“The Liberals and Nationals have a long history of respecting and honouring our veteran community and this will provide our Vietnam veterans with not only a suitable museum, but a place to honour and remember.”