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Beazley has it back to front: Democrats



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M E D IA RELEASE *«**·'

-------------------------------- : --- THE SENATE

c o m m o n w e a l t h ,

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY » M ICAh j

BEKZLEY HAS IT BACK TO FRONT:

89/274 Canberra 7 June, 1989

DEMOCRATS

I 3

The Australian Democrats Spokesperson for Defence, Senator Paul McLean, has sharply criticized the recent announcement by the Minister for Defence of the terms of reference for a review aimed at improving the defence organizations'

interaction with the Australian community.

The Minister has commissioned a review and has appointed a Special Adviser to the Minister to conduct it.

"The Minister has put the emphasis in the wrong place," Senator McLean said. "Instead of asking how the community can help the armed forces, the review should be asking how the armed forces can help the Australian people.

"Civil defence emergencies such as bushfire, flood, major accidents and lost and injured people are all problems which should be the concern of our Defence Force in peacetime. They are roles for which the Force is ideally suited. We

seem intent in Australia on creating organizations at great expense to carry out these roles, while we overlook our greatest and best trained asset in these fields - the armed forces.

"We have thousands of volunteers in bushfire brigades, the local State Emergency Services and local rescue groups which survive on the proceeds of lamington sales while billions of dollars are poured into the armed forces, the personnel of which are becoming more and more dissatisfied because they

are not allowed to perform any useful role in the community.

"It's about time the Government realized that one of the best ways to give job satisfaction to the members of our armed forces is to involve them in worthwhile and

appreciated activities for the benefit of the community."

FURTHER INFORMATION: Senator Paul McLean (062) 773450