The federal Greens oppose the expansion of the Australian War Memorial and launched a policy that would share the half-a-billion dollars earmarked for the project across all of Canberra's national institutions.
As part of a broader defence and foreign aid policy announcement on Friday, the party also said the war memorial should be banned from accepting donations from weapons manufacturers but should receive more government funding to make up the shortfall.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale made the promise on Friday along with a commitment to reduce Australia's spend on defence and end the alliance with the United States.
Both the Liberal government and the Labor party have committed to support the War Memorial in its $498 million expansion, but the Greens say it wouldn't be necessary if its halls weren't filled with military hardware.
"The most powerful and wonderful memorials to war and other conflicts are those simplest ones and those stories can be told really well, very simply," Greens candidate for Canberra Tim Hollo said.
"The war memorial doesn't need more space it needs to be better thought out."
According to the Greens, the war memorial should take its cue from memorials overseas.
"If you go to the memorials in Germany, in Britain, in America, it's those really simple, stark representations, places where you can stand and contemplate, that are the most powerful and wonderful spaces for memorialising those who have given their lives and so much to our country. The pool of reflection here is a wonderful example of that," Mr Hollo said.
Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson has previously said it is important for weapons manufacturers to donate to the memorial, and that he worries about those that don't. Effort is made to ensure that acknowledgement of the companies involved fits with the respectful tone of the memorial, it has been said.
"The Australian War Memorial is sacred ground. It shouldn't be used as an advertising platform for global arms exporters," Senator Di Natale said.
"The Australian War Memorial should be a place of sombre reflection to commemorate the people who have lost their life, the blood that has been spilt in the names of Australian governments in wars."
Under the Greens policy, an extra $2 million a year in government funding would go to the memorial to replace funds previously coming from military companies.
The Greens would add to the war memorial though, pushing for a memorial to the Frontier Wars, the conflicts between Indigenous Australians and settlers.
The party, which has one seat in the lower house and nine senators, wants an extra $38 million a year to go the other national institutions, to pay for repairs needed for some buildings and digitisation projects.
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