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Government politicising RAAF

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■ M f. d t a R e l e a s e · J i m Carlton SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE=-----------------------------GOVERNMENT POLITICISING RAAF

In a determined effort to bring the Pilot's Federation to its knees, the Hawke Government is using the RAAF as a tool to achieve its political ends. = ■

The use of the RAAF in the initial stages of the current airlines dispute was an understandable measure, supported by the Opposition, in view of the circumstances at the time.

However, in the intervening seven weeks since then the Hawke Government has clearly mismanaged the dispute.

Using the good offices and unquestioning professionalism of the RAAF, the Government has drawn out the dispute unnecessarily.

The concern that the Opposition shares with members of the RAAF is that the longer the Government contributes to an extension of the dispute to achieve its aim, the more apparent it is that the RAAF is being used in a political campaign.

No Government has the right to use any Service within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in such a blatantly political fashion. It goes against the principles of the Westminster system.

Importantly, this political exercise is leading also to an undermining of ADF operational training.

6 October 1989 21/89

Contact: Jim Carlton or Simon Brooks (062) 77 4152/4145