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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6700

Mr GRIFFIN (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel) (11:50 AM) —I would like to express my sorrow at the passing of three Australian Defence Force members who were killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Monday. Privates Tim Aplin, Ben Chuck and Scott Palmer were all members of the Sydney based 2nd Commando Regiment and were serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when they lost their lives in the service of their nation.

Private Tim Aplin was serving as a demolitions specialist and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan. He has been described as an outstanding and dedicated commando who was highly respected.

Private Ben Chuck was the patrol medic within his sniper team and was on his third tour in Afghanistan. He has been described as an outstanding commando who excelled at all he attempted. His affectionate and caring nature drove his passion for helping his mates.

Private Scott Palmer was also on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan. He has been described as having professionalism of the highest order and excelling at everything he did.

I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of these men and to the members of the Australian Defence Force, who also feel this great loss. In particular, I offer my deep condolences to: Private Tim Aplin’s wife Natasha; his children Ty, Shinae, Josie and Daniel; and his mother Margaret; Private Ben Chuck’s mother Susan, father Gordon, brother Jason, sister Tiffany and partner Tess; and Private Scott Palmer’s mother Pam, father Ray and brother Adam.

To the members of the 2nd Commando Regiment, my thoughts are with you as you mourn the loss of three of your members and the wounding of another seven. I offer my prayers to the family and friends of Private Tim Aplin, Private Ben Chuck and Private Scott Palmer and also for the safe homecoming of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen who continue to serve in operations all around the world. Privates Aplin, Chuck and Palmer have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their nation and this will not be forgotten. I mourn their loss.