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Mrs Kelly denies Australian soldiers in the Middle East are not receiving essential allowances



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COMMONWEALTH

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

ffitivS-fteyEASE FROM Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel 22/11/88

Mrs. Kelly's penchant for fairy tales tries to cover up the fact that our soldiers who are away on dangerous duty continue to be forgotten and neglected, although the World has recognised that these men are serving in a force which has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Despite Mrs. Kelly's attempts to deny the truth, Australian soldiers in the Middle East are still not receiving essential allowances more than three months after joining the United Nations force on the Iran/Iraq border.

It is clear from The Minister's press statement of 15th November, that she has tried to bluster her way out of her shameful neglect of these men and shift the blame.

The facts are, that although it is true an initial outlay allowance of $1,500 and a special additional outlay allowance of $1,000 were paid to these men, these two allowances must be repaid.

The subsistence allowance provided for daily living has not been determined. An approximate figure only is being paid to the men, and must be adjusted after it is finally determined.

The disability component, which comprises a field element allowance, a hazard element allowance and a post allowance has not been determined. Nor has an approximate amount been paid.

Although Mrs. Kelly made great noise about a meeting on November 16 that was supposed to finalise the disability component, still no agreement has been reached and these allowances are still not paid.

What trade union would allow its members to work on a site without essential allowances being determined and paid?

I can assure Mrs. Kelly, far from stirring the pot, I am trying to bring her attention, and to our Nation, that these soldiers and their families expect better treatment. Although they are getting on with the job and doing the job

extremely well, they and their families are extremely disappointed that the Government won't or can't act to properly compensate them.

These men were sent to the Middle East with only a few days notice. They have been living in cramped substandard accommodation. They inititally worked 10 weeks without a break. The duty is hazardous and dangerous.

As Mrs. Kelly boasted, they deserve much better treatment. She should be ashamed of herself!

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