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Calls for changes to ROCL.



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PETER LINDSAY MP Shadow Parliamenta ry Secreta ry for Defence

5`h JUNE 2008

CALLS FOR CHANGES TO ROCL

During Senate estimates yesterday the Chief of the Defence Force revealed that overseas deployments are to be extended from six months to eight months at a time.

With the exception of the Special Forces and some RAAF units, who are deployed for four months, all other deployments are currently for six months.

The Defence Chief told the parliamentary commi tt ee that this new policy was necessary to reduce the stress on Australia's over stretched forces knowing that the ADF may be in Afghanistan for at least ten years.

"If the longer deployments are to occur, then I am calling for the CDF to consider extending the ROCL (Relief Out of Country Leave) by at least an extra five days. This will give soldiers additional time back home with their families," Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Peter Lindsay, said.

"While defence families would ideally like deployments to be shorter rather than longer, soldiers and their commanders know the disruption this causes to their missions and that the lead up training time and mission rehearsal exercises are the same whether the deployment is shorter or longer," Mr Lindsay said.

"Extending the ROCL by five days will have minimal impact on the deployment but would be very much welcomed by the soldiers and their families.

"The upside of an eight month deployment is ADF members will have 16 months between deployments for training and promotion courses.

"Defence strives hard to look after the men and women of the ADF and their families.

"I believe that this initiative is worthy of their favourable consideration."

Media Contact: Niki Lyons 0418 762 307 \