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Backflip on medals welcomed.

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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP

Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence

The Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

1 September 2008


The Coalition has welcomed the Rudd Government’s decision to finally do what is right and pay for a Vietnam Veteran war medal.

The Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence, Bob Baldwin MP and the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bronwyn Bishop MP have both praised the long overdue decision.

“Why put the veteran community through this angst, and then only after public outcry find the money for what I am advised was just 100 medals,” said Mr Baldwin.

“It shows the Rudd Labor Government has no clear plan and is a reactionary government.”

The veteran community was outraged they had to pay $12 for the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation with Palm - imported from the US - without receiving any government assistance.

The bravery decorations were awarded by the now defunct South Vietnamese government in 1967 but were not accepted at the time by the Australian government, according to Long Tan veterans.

However, the Government last month approved the citations to be worn, after an independent review.

Mrs Bishop condemned the Rudd Labor Government for their lack of compassion and expecting veterans to pay for their own medals. It was only after the media exposed this mean spirited decision that the Government finally back flipped and reversed it.

“It’s clear that the Minister will only act after he gets negative media", Mrs Bishop said.

Media enquiries: Shelley Mexon - 0421 443 401 (Mr Baldwin) Damien Jones - 0409 147 247 (Mrs Bishop)