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Labor committed to Puckapunyal.



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Stephen Martin - Labor Committed To Puckapunyal http://www.alp.org.au//media/1001/smmspuck121001.html Monday, 15 October 2001

ALP News Statements

Labor Committed To Puckapunyal Stephen Martin - Shadow Minister for Defence

Media Statement - 12 October 2001

The Shadow Minister for Defence, Stephen Martin, and Labor Candidate for McEwan, Andrew McLeod, today visited Puckapunyal Army Base.

They discussed with locals the long-term future of the Base and its economic benefit to the surrounding community following the Howard Government's bungling of the outsourcing of the Defence Integrated Distribution System (DIDS).

"The Coalition Government's mismanagement of the outsourcing of DIDS has resulted in a threat to the employment security of 169 Defence employees here at Puckapunyal, and a total of 1300 people around Australia.

"Today I announce that if Labor is elected we will immediately review the entire DIDS debacle across Australia to protect jobs and finally resolve the matter as the Coalition should have done years ago.

"It is appalling that these employees have been living under a cloud of uncertainty for three years while their local Liberal member was a coward in Canberra and faked concern in her electorate

"The Liberals have now restarted the process, which will only continue the threat to the employees, and this action is nothing more than a stalling mechanism to get the Howard Government through the next election because their policy with regard to DIDS does not protect jobs.

"Employees and their families at Puckapunyal deserve a more definitive response from the Government. I call on Peter Reith to match Labor's pledge of safeguarding the jobs of people at Puckapunyal, a pledge he has not been prepared to give to date.

"Labor will also guarantee to maintain the staffing levels of Puckapunyal Army Base because it recognises the significant impact the base has in this rural community and the important role it plays in training the men and women of the Australian Army.

The only way that the people of the electorate of McEwan can be sure that their Army bases' future is

secure, and jobs are not threatened by this outsourcing debacle will be to vote for Andrew McLeod and a Federal Labor Government, Dr Martin said.

Dr Martin and Mr McLeod met with senior officers at the Puckapunyal Army Base, and then conducted two Open Forums: one for local community groups, the Defence Community Organisation and military spouses; and the second for Defence members from local units.

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.