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Wednesday, 7 March 1984
Page: 506


Senator MacGIBBON —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the Senate condemns the Government for its abandonment of the maintenance of an adequate defence force for Australia in relation to-

(a) the totally inadequate share of the Federal Budget devoted to the primary responsibility of government, namely the defence of the nation;

(b) the consequential placing of the Australian Defence Forces in a position from where recovery is now impossible when faced with an armed threat to the security of the country;

(c) the abandonment of the plans to provide a platform at sea for the operation of a rotary winged aircraft for anti-submarine warfare and fixed wing aircraft for surveillance, strike and air superiority;

(d) the criminal negligence in disbanding the Fleet Air Arm whose continued existence was a national defence asset even if no seaborne platforms were available in the short term;

(e) the failure to provide helicopters for the FFGs for the Navy;

(f) the decision to buy two more FFGs and not recognise the totally incorrect decision by a previous Labor Government to buy this class of ship for the Australian Navy, a design which is completely inadequate for Australia's needs;

(g) the failure to move purposefully to provide adequate airborne refuelling aircraft for the RAAF;

(h) the failure to provide any airborne early warning aircraft;

(i) the failure to provide adequate transport, air support, ammunition, boots and clothing to units of the Australian Army, particularly the Operational Deployment Force;

(j) the very depressed state of morale in the Australian Defence Forces arising from the aforementioned factors and from poor housing, tax on Defence Force Retirement Benefits payments and general neglect from the Government of their needs; and

(k) the breaking of morale in the Reserve Forces by taxing payments for Members .