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Nelson shows new strategy for gaining and retaining in the ADF: dodge your own responsibilities and blame teachers.



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DEMOCRATS

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MEDIA FRIDAY 10 MARCH 2006

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS DEPUTY LEADER

NELSON SHOWS NEW STRATEGY FOR GAINING AND RETAINING IN THE ADF - DODGE YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITIES AND BLAME TEACHERS

Australian Democrats’ Deputy Leader, Andrew Bartlett said today that Defence Minister, Brendon Nelson’s attempt to blame teachers for poor recruitment rates in the Defence Forces is a ludicrous and shameful effort to dodge his own responsibilities.

“Dr Nelson should not be surprised that too few students are attracted to the Defence Forces and current personnel are unable to be retained.”

“It has little to with antipathy or active dissuasion by teachers and much more to do with blatant dishonesty by the Government and failings within the current system.”

“Gaining and retaining staff in any industry, possibility even more so in Defence, is contingent on the employer presenting an honest and open approach and looking after personnel. The Government has failed miserably on both counts.”

“The Government has involved us in an illegal war, has failed to tell us what timetable it is running to with bringing our troops home and is hell bent on hanging off the coattails of the United States. This hardly engenders any sort of confidence in the community let alone the young people it says it’s trying to attract to the forces.”

“There is also an underlying attitude that personnel are expendable. Too many are tossed aside if they are injured or become unwell during the course of their duties. From my experience there is not enough done to support these people who really have chosen to take on the unenviable task of serving their country.”

“It must be remembered that there is always the potential to lose your life or suffer permanent disability if you join the ADF. It’s a big ask for any person.”

“If the Government is serious about improving recruitment and retaining defence personnel it must stop using the military as pawns in its political games, start showing some respect for the truth and show it will look after its people when the chips are down,” Senator Bartlett said.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655