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Monday, 31 October 2011
Page: 12026


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:05): I rise to support the gracious words of the Prime Minister. The whole nation is indeed grieving for these three fine Australians apparently gunned down by an Afghan soldier. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Captain Duffy, Corporal Birt and Lance Corporal Gavin, and also with their seven wounded comrades.

The element of betrayal makes these deaths particularly tragic. Australians are entitled to be dismayed that our allies cannot entirely be relied upon, but this is a reflection more on the malice of the enemy than on the merits of our cause. It is freedom's fight that our soldiers are embarked upon. They and their mission, as you would expect, continue to be supported by the coalition.

Honourable members having stood in their places—

Debate adjourned.