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Rudd Government "gift" comes at a cost for community groups.



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WHYALLA OFFICE: PORT PIRIE OFFICE:

45a Playford Avenue WHYALLA SA 5600 104 Ellen Street (PO Box 296) PORT PIRIE SA 5540 Phone: (08) 8645 4255 / Phone: (08) 8633 1744

Phone: 1300 301 651 (local call cost) Phone: 1300 301 742 (local call cost)

Fax: (08) 8645 5933 Fax: (08) 8633 1749

ROWAN RAMSEY MP Member for Grey

Rudd Government “Gift” Comes at a Cost for Community Groups

Veteran and historical organisations, including the Port Augusta RSL, which have been allocated a Leopard tank from the Federal Minister for Defence, may be slugged up to $20,000 for delivery.

In 2007, then Defence Minister Brendan Nelson announced the decommissioned Leopard tanks which were being replaced by new Abrams tanks, would be available for gifting to interested organisations.

“Following Dr Nelson’s announcement, Defence was inundated with inquiries about the tanks,” Mr Ramsey said.

“Prior to the election it was announced some organisations would receive a tank if the Coalition was re-elected.

“Organisations which were successful in their bid, including the Port Augusta RSL, have now been advised they will have to pay for delivery and installation of the tank- in some cases up to $20,000.

“The Coalition’s plan to gift the tanks included delivery and installation.

“It is ridiculous to charge these small groups for delivery. “It is within Defence’s core business to shit the tanks around and their responsibility to do so.”

Mr Ramsey said Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbons is souring the gifting of the tanks and the opportunity for veteran groups to proudly display them as part of our proud defence force history by charging groups for delivery.

Media Contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith (08) 86331744 November 13, 2008