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"Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations" should be reviewed in light of Woolworths debacle

The Greens spokesperson for Veterans Affairs, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, welcomes the intervention by the Minister Michael Ronaldson in Woolworths’ misuse of the word Anzac, but says more needs to be done to prevent the commercialisation of the Anzac commemoration.

Senator Whish-Wilson said, “The Anzac commemoration means many things to many people, but what it should never become is a crass commercial opportunity where companies try to leverage an association for their brand.

This kind of crass commercialisation only serves to undermine the meaning of the commemoration for the Australian people.

“The Veterans’ Affairs Minister was right to intervene against Woolworths for its misuse of ‘Anzac’ given it so clearly breached the Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations.

“I also hope the Minister will go further and conduct spot audits of companies across the country immediately to see if others are in breach of the regulations.

“The Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations are themselves almost a century old and the Parliament would be well served to conduct a thorough review of whether these regulations are still providing adequate protection of the misuse of ‘Anzac’ including examining if the penalties are adequate.

“These regulations have not been updated since 1990.

“The review should also consider if the word ‘Gallipoli’ should be given the same protections as the word ‘Anzac’.

“There is potential for the commemoration of Anzac to be commercialised via stealth using the word ‘Gallipoli’ in lieu of ‘Anzac’,” he concluded.

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