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Parliamentarians to get a taste of military life.



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MEDIA RELEASE

The Hon. Fran Bailey, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence

PARLSEC 015/04 Thursday, 12 February 2004

PARLIAMENTARIANS TO GET A TASTE OF MILITARY LIFE

The Australian Defence Force Parliamentary Program (ADFPP) for 2004 was launched in Parliament House today by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence Fran Bailey. The ADFPP provides Members and Senators the opportunity to attach to an ADF unit to better understand the role the ADF plays in ensuring Australia’s national security.

“By experiencing first hand what happens on a ship, in a battalion or in a RAAF unit, the ADFPP enables Members of Parliament and Senators to gain a useful insight into some of the roles and operations of the ADF,” Fran Bailey said.

The 2004 ADFPP will provide Members and Senators with 12 options for attachments including time on HMAS Melbourne returning from the Middle East, recruit training at the Army Recruit Training Centre in Wagga Wagga, NORFORCE operations in the Northern Territory, and aircraft and mission preparation culminating in a F/A-18 or F-111 flight.

In 2003 fourteen Parliamentarians participated in the program with each giving positive feedback from their time with the ADF. The program will also provide opportunities for exchange by members of the ADF who will spend time in a parliamentary office.

“The time Members and Senators spend with the ADF is rewarding and informative and enables a real exchange of ideas and experiences,” Fran Bailey said.

“No red carpet treatment will be given to any Member or Senator. They will be treated the same as all serving Defence personnel.”

ADFPP participant Senator Nigel Scullion, who spent a week at RAAF Base Williamtown, said the “the ADFPP initiative provides the opportunity to live and work among the members of the Defence Force and gain a greater insight into their lives.”

“During the week I spent with the RAAF, I very quickly learnt that the men and women of the RAAF are some of the most consummate professionals that I have ever worked with,” Senator Scullion said.

“Participation in the ADFPP provides Members and Senators with greater knowledge of issues and lets Defence Force members know that Government does appreciate their role and is serious about maintaining their efficiency and reputation as the best in the world.”

Media Information Kevin Lowe (Fran Bailey) 0408 404 468

Dan Wheelahan (Defence) 0414 345 741