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Vietnamese authorities agree to allow Long Tan visits, despite cancelling 50th anniversary service

LATEST:  Small groups of Australian veterans are slowly making their way to the battle site at Long Tan after the Vietnamese authorities cancelled the 50th anniversary service.

Hundreds of Australian veterans and their families had travelled to Vietnam to mark the anniversary. 

They were left devastated when the official ceremony was cancelled at short notice last night but the Australian Government struck a last minute deal to allow some to visit the site.

The first group of veterans, including Lieutenant Colonel Harry Smith and others who fought at Long Tan, have begun the journey there.

Nick McCallum is in Vietnam and said the government will only allow groups of 100 people or less to visit the site at any given time.

He told Tom Elliott the media has been banned from the site. 

‘They say it was because they were uncomfortable about the number of people who turned up but also they were uncomfortable about the media coverage in Australia in the lead up to Long Tan,’ he said.

‘They believe the portrayal in the Australian media has been something of a victory for the Australians.’

Listen back to Tom Elliott cross to Nick McCallum in Vietnam:

(Up-to-date information can be found HERE at smartraveller.gov.au)

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