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Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 8101

Mr FRYDENBERG (Kooyong) (11:34): It is with great sadness that I rise to speak on the condolence motion following the tragic death of Sergeant Todd Matthew Langley during an operation in Afghanistan on 4 July 2011. Sergeant Langley is the 28th Australian to die in this very difficult and distant Afghanistan conflict. Sergeant Langley was a decorated soldier and commando. He was a member of the Special Operations Task Group that was formerly the 2nd Commando Regiment, formerly 4th Battalion, RAR. He is the eighth member of his unit to be killed in Afghanistan. He had been deployed to Afghanistan five times in the last six years and deployed to East Timor twice. He was awarded two commendations for distinguished service, firstly in 2002 and then in 2008, and he was awarded a unit citation for gallantry in 2006.

Sergeant Langley was described by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, as a brave and professional soldier who never took a backward step. Despite their grief his comrades say he will continue to inspire them. So said General David Hurley. Sergeant Langley leaves behind his wife, Reigan; his parents, Val and Neville; and three beautiful girls and a young son. In the words of his family: 'Todd was an all-round great guy. He had a competitive streak when playing board games and a fascination with world affairs. The children are so proud of their daddy and the work that he did. They knew their daddy was a soldier and would miss him terribly each time he went away, but they and the rest of the family were always so proud of him at the same time.'

Sergeant Langley's family can rest assured that a grateful nation is also very proud of him and is grateful for the service that he and his comrades have given in this difficult conflict in Afghanistan. I have had the opportunity to go to Afghanistan and see firsthand the important work that our men and women in uniform are doing and they are making a difference to ensure that, once again, Afghanistan, does not become a safe haven for terrorists.

On this sad day I join with colleagues on both sides of the chamber to pay my respects to a brave and distinguished Australian, a brave and distinguished soldier, and to his family and to say we will always be there with you. Lest we forget.