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Government fails to recruit 2,300 Defence Reservists.



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Media Statement

Laurie Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

20 September 1999

 

Government Fails To Recruit 2,300 Defence Reservists

The Federal Opposition has described as extremely alarming official confirmation that the Governm ent failed to fill 2,300 vacancies in the Defence Reserves last financial year.

Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Laurie Ferguson MP, says the figures vindicate Opposition claims that Coalition policies have adversely impacted on the Army Reserve in particular.

'I have been advised that the Government only managed to fill 2,393 positions in 1998/99, despite a recruitment target of 4,760,' Mr Ferguson said.

 

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'The shortfall in the Army Reserve was 2,184 positions, or 49% of the target.'

'T his appalling outcome confirms my worst fears about the Government's decision to abolish reserve leave as an allowable award condition and the introduction of Common Induction Training.

'With our Defence Forces stretched by massive job cuts under the Defence Reform Program and committed to a major role in East Timor, we cannot afford to allow massive holes to open up in the Reserves.

'The proper rotation of troops committed to Timor and elsewhere depends on Australia having sufficient Reserves as a back up.

'While this fact is apparent to every Defence commentator, the Government seems incapable of developing a package to rebuild the Reserves.'

'We were promised an action plan by the end of June but nothing happened. Now we are told that only a discussion paper is being prepared. This is just not good enough.'

 

For further information:

Laurie Ferguson MP (02) 6277 4920

 

 

jy  1999-09-21  11:46