Title Address to the Australian troops, Campbell Barracks, Perth: transcript of the Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard, MP.
Database Press Releases
Date 24-08-2005
Author HOWARD, John, (former PM)
Citation Id QZ2H6
Cover date Wednesday, 24 August 2005
Format Online Text
In Government no
Item Online Text: 1283108
Key item No
Major subject Deployment of forces
Australian Army
MP yes
Pages 2p.
Party LPA
Speech Yes
System Id media/pressrel/QZ2H6

Address to the Australian troops, Campbell Barracks, Perth: transcript of the Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard, MP.

PRIME MINISTER 24 August 2005 TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP ADDRESS TO THE AUSTRALIAN TROOPS CAMPBELL BARRACKS, PERTH E&OE………………………………………………………………………………… Colonel McMahon, Chief Marshal Angus Houston, Defence Minister Robert Hill, Kim Beazley, the Leader of the Opposition, Robert McClelland Shadow Minister for Defence, gentlemen. As I look around this room, I see some familiar faces - I can safely say that in this gathering. Many of you I have met before, some of you I haven’t and the fact that I have met so many of you before is a mark of the enormous contribution that this group and the SAS generally has made to the defence and strategic objectives of Australia over the last few years. I think back a short while ago, to the tremendous contribution that Colonel McMahon and his group made with Nick Warner, who is now on my staff and who is with us today, in the events that lead to the release of the Australian hostage Douglas Wood. I think that I had the opportunity to speak to quite a number of you when I was recently in Iraq. But I have come here today to say to all of you, on behalf of the Australian nation that we wish you well on your very important mission to Afghanistan. The Australian people are very proud of their military, very proud indeed. They are particularly proud of the men of the SAS, there is no more superbly trained group of men in the Australian military forces and your capacity that you’re renown and skill not only has the respect of the Australian people but the admiration of fighting men and women all around the world. Afghanistan represents a particular challenge, it’s important that the democratic embrace by the people of that country is protected. There will be an election held on the 17th December and attempts are being made by the Taliban, supported by elements of Al Qaeda, to prevent that from occurring and all that follows it and it’s very important and in fact it’s fundamental to the war against terror that Afghanistan be given the opportunity of fully embrace democracy and if that happens and democracy takes root in that country, that is protected, then a massive blow is struck in the war against terrorism and that is why your presence and that is why the Australian military contribution and the military contribution of other countries is so very very important and why your mission has the very strong support of the Australian people and of course of the Australian government.

You are superbly trained, I know you embrace your profession with great enthusiasm, you look forward to challenges like none other in our community, that’s what makes you so good and that’s what makes us so very proud of the work that you do. I know that when you’re away your family will worry about you. You are professional enough to know that this mission will have its dangers, there is a risk of casualties, you all know that, there is no point in my pretending otherwise. Can I say in relation to your families that we all will do our level best back here to look after them and to try and replace, as best we can, your presence with our presence to make them feel that every day that you are away, not only are you in our thoughts and our prayers but so are your loved ones back here in Australia.

Your mission is good, your mission is important to the future security of Australia, your mission is important to the fight against terrorism. You go with our very good wishes, our admiration, our thanks and our profound respect as your fellow Australians and with our hopes and our prayers for your leading a very successful mission and a very safe and sound return for all of you. Good luck, Australia is with you and very proud of you.