Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Another Australian soldier dies -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

EMMA ALBERICI: The head of the nation's defence force says the resolve of Australian soldiers to
hunt down Taliban bomb-makers will only harden after the death of another Australian soldier in

Twenty-five-year-old, signaller Sean McCarthy from Perth was killed in a roadside bomb attack in
Oruzgan Province in the south of the country, yesterday afternoon.

Two other special service soldiers were wounded in the attack and are recovering in hospital. It
brings Australia's death toll in Afghanistan to six and returns the focus to the increasingly
dangerous tasks soldiers are undertaking there.

From Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: It was signaller Sean McCarthy's second tour of Afghanistan. He was there last
year and was officially commended for his work. This time the 25-year-old SAS soldier had been
working in Oruzgan Province in the south of the country for just a month.

ANGUS HOUSTON: Signaller McCarthy was an experienced, highly skilled and professional soldier. He
was very well respected by his comrades and will be sorely missed by his many friends.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Chief of the defence force, Angus Houston delivering the news of the latest
Australian death this morning. Sean McCarthy is the sixth Australian soldier to be killed in

ANGUS HOUSTON: Each loss is deeply felt by all in the Australian Defence Force. But I know that our
wonderful men and women, still serving overseas are supporting each other and are more determined
than ever to continue with their important mission in honour of their fallen comrades.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd spoke to the Chief of the defence force from Tokyo
where he's attending the G8 summit.

KEVIN RUDD: Sean McCarthy is a terrible loss to his family, a terrible loss to the Australian
Defence Force, a terrible loss to the Australian nation. My thoughts, my prayers go to his family
at this terrible time.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Air Chief Marshal Houston acknowledges an increasingly dangerous situation in
Oruzgan Province where the thousand Australian troops are based. He says the growing sophistication
of improvised explosive devises being made and used by the Taliban is of greatest concern for the
coalition forces.

ANGUS HOUSTON: This incident, this loss that we've suffered will be a trigger for more and more
active operations against the people who produce these dreadful weapons.

REPORTER: When you say this will be a trigger, you mean, a what (inaudible).

ANGUS HOUSTON: What I mean is that this will, this will harden our resolve to keep these Taliban
leaders, these Taliban bomb-makers under pressure. We'll continue to go after them and we'll
continue to disrupt their activities.

If we can do that, we'll obviously lessen the number of bombs that are in place on roadsides and
make the environment safer for us and safer for the Afghani nationals.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Raspal Khosa is from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

RASPAL KHOSA: We're certainly seeing heightened activity of the sort we haven't seen yet in

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Chief of the defence force seems to be particularly worried about the use of
these improvised explosive devices. I mean, are they getting more sophisticated now?

RASPAL KHOSA: Yes, the levels of sophistication are, you know, similar to what we've seen in Iraq.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: It seems the Australian Defence Force vehicles are not equipped to actually
withstand the force of these bombs now, so I guess it does show they are getting stronger.

RASPAL KHOSA: Well it's variable in terms of the impact of these devices. I mean, obviously they're
a device that is attached to some form of ordinance and these range from quite small devices to
obviously very large devices with munitions extracted from bombs or artillery shells and the like
which can disable large armoured vehicles.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The federal Opposition's Defence spokesman, Nick Minchin says despite the rising
Australian death toll the deployment will continue to receive bipartisan support.

NICK MINCHIN: Australian public opinion will always be mixed on these issues and the Australian
public would share our deep sadness at the loss today. But I hope all Australians will remember
that some of the terrorists involved in the massacre of Australian's in Bali were trained by, under
the Taliban in Afghanistan. That this was a hot bed for training terrorists to wreak havoc on
innocent civilians around the world.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Chief of the defence force last month warned that foreign troops could be
needed in Afghanistan for another decade. Today he said he's happy with the progress the Australian
troops are making in the fight against the Taliban.

EMMA ALBERICI: Samantha Hawley reporting.