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Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Page: 12686

Mrs PRENTICE (Ryan) (17:52): I rise to offer my respects to Corporal Scott James Smith, who has paid the ultimate price fighting for Australia, fighting for all Australians. Corporal Smith died while on operations in Afghanistan on 21 October 2012 in northern Helmand province. Despite his comparatively young age, he was on his second deployment to Afghanistan, having served as part of Operation SLIPPER from February 2010 to July 2010 and again from July 2012. Corporal Smith was a member of the Special Operations Task Group and was from the Special Operations Engineer Regiment based at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney.

Corporal Smith was born in the Barossa Valley in 1988. He joined the Army in February 2006 and upon completion of his initial employment training was posted to the First Combat Engineer Regiment in Darwin. In 2008, Corporal Smith was posted to the then Incident Response Regiment as a search operator. Corporal Smith is described as an exceptional soldier, who possessed all the qualities and charisma of a great junior leader. He is described by his unit as a genuine, honest and dedicated member, who was probably one of the best junior non-commissioned officers that the unit has seen. Corporal Smith sadly, like so many sappers, paid a heavy price for his work in Afghanistan. Our sappers are on the front line. They find and dismantle improvised explosive devices and in doing so, they protect the special forces soldiers who follow them and walk in their footsteps.

They are brave men, men of extreme courage, who often deal with sophisticated explosives at night, under fire and in a hurry. Corporal Smith was killed in a battle that destroyed an insurgent network specialising in IED attacks. The Special Operations Task Group subsequently removed 100 IEDs from the battlefield. Australians and Afghanis are safer because of Corporal Smith's courage and bravery. On behalf of the Ryan electorate, I extend my sincere condolences to Corporal Smith's family, friends and colleagues. Lest we forget.