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Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Page: 5541

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahLeader of the Opposition) (14:05): I rise to support the words of the Prime Minister. Lance Corporal Andrew Jones was always quick to volunteer for dangerous or difficult missions and had previously served in East Timor. Lieutenant Marcus Case had also served in East Timor and, most recently, had served in Queensland where he helped with flood assistance missions earlier in the year.

In expressing our grief to the families and friends of these dead, brave soldiers we should also express our appreciation for their professionalism, their selflessness and their devotion to duty. Inevitably, when we have these incidents—particularly a tragedy arising, it seems, from the treachery of an ally—people's determination is inclined to waver. But this, in the end, goes to the sort of country that we want to be. Are we going to be a country that takes up burdens when they are easy only to drop them when they are hard? I believe that, on reflection, all of us would want Australia to be a country that can be relied upon in hard times as well as in good times. We as members of parliament, and in the case of the members opposite senior members of the government, are all conscious of the price our soldiers pay for the decisions that this parliament and its members make. I am sure that all of us remain determined that the deaths of these two brave soldiers should not be in vain. On behalf of the coalition, on behalf of the Liberal and National parties, I extend our deepest condolences to their families.