Ballot open for 2015 Gallipoli Anzac Centenary
The ballot is now open for Australians wanting to travel to Gallipoli to mark the 2015 centenary of the Anzac landings.
The government has announced that there will be 8000 places made available to Australians, 2000 available to New Zealanders and 500 for official representatives from all countries involves in the Gallipoli campaign.
the governments of Turkey, Australia and New Zealand have agreed that the maximum number of people who can attend the Anzac Day commemorations to mark the 100 year anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli is 10,500 people.
Australians interested in attending the official ceremony at Gallipoli in 2015 are encouraged to register online on the official website - the ballot will be open from November 15 to January 31, 2014.
However, not everyone will be involved in the ballot. Widows of World War I veterans will be invited separately by the government and of the seats available to Australians in the ballot, 2000 will be reserved for descendants of soldiers, the veterans community and high school students and chaperones.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Veteran Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson are expected to attend. "We've allowed what we think is the appropriate number of politicians," Mr Abbott told Fairfax radio on Thursday. "This should be a people's celebration, not a pollie fest."
Australia and New Zealand run three services at Gallipoli on Anzac Day every year. The dawn service, followed by an Australian memorial at Lone Pine and a New Zealand memorial service at Chunuk Bair.
To register for the Australian ballot, entrants must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18 on or before April 25, 2015. Tickets will be issues as double passes - with successful applicants able to choose a companion to join them at the Gallipoli ceremony.
The 2015 horizon will give Australians a chance to save up to join in a once in a lifetime landmark in Australian history. If you plan to be part of history, make sure you start saving now with a high interest savings account. If you can put away $50 a week between now and then you should have about $3400 saved by April 2015 - and if you don't make the ballot, there's always 2016.