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'Poles apart' off the planet on defence



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33

P A R L IA M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA. ACT 2 6 0 0 TEL ( 0 6 ) 2 7 7 7111

Michael Ronaldson Acting Shadow Minister for Defence

Member for Ballarat

•POLES APART OFF THE PLANET ON DEFENCE

"The Coalition and Labor are 'poles apart' on Defence.

"Only the Coalition has a detailed plan to increase the Defence Forces' combat capability, by boosting Regular Army battalion numbers, spending more on exercises and training and widening co-operation with regional friends and allies.

"Labor's 'Poles Apart' document shows that the Government has no such plan, even though Labor is drastically cutting defence personnel numbers and plans a $50 million cut to defence spending each year from 1993-94 on."

The acting Shadow Minister for Defence, Mr Michael Ronaldson, said today that Labor's 'Poles Apart' document blatantly misrepresented the Coalition's defence spending plans.

"It is absurd to claim that Defence will be cut by $500 million. Fightback! says that we will save $500 million, but return $300 million of this to strengthening Defence combat capability. .

"Fightback is about redirecting spending in Defence away from bureaucrats and to the combat 'sharp end'.

"By contrast, Labor has done nothing but erode combat capability, but cutting Army regular battalions, reducing flying time, ship days at sea and exercise and training time.

"Labor's poor defence performance is compounded by their refusal to produce an up-to- date White Paper which addresses Australia's defence needs in a systematic and comprehensive way.

"By contrast, the Coalition has just completed such a comprehensive review. Our defence policy statement will be released shortly."

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September 29, 1992 (39) C O M M O N W E A L T H

P A R L IA M E N T A R Y LIBRARY fviiCAH

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