Senate debates

Tuesday, 3 March 2015


Deployment of Australian Troops

12:57 pm

Photo of Jacqui LambieJacqui Lambie (Tasmania, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

I rise to speak to the motion before the Senate regarding the deployment of the ADF personnel to overseas conflicts. While I support the Greens motion to have a debate about the current military deployment, I do not support the Green's proposal to change the way the decision-making process is made to send the troops overseas. All I propose to change is the decision makers, who have clearly made the wrong call in sending our troops back overseas again. Some people are having difficulty in grasping this following fact: despite all the terror attacks, despite the fact that our official terrorism alert is high, which means that an attack by an enemy is likely, we are at war.

Firstly, I would like at least the Liberal Party to be big enough to say it as it is: we are at war. Let us just say it. Let us be honest. It is a war that we did not want. It is a war that other people have declared on us because they do not like our freedom, our democracy and our way of life, and they do not like the fact that our women and gay people have the same rights as men. They do not like the fact that we do not worship and pray to the same god that they worship and pray to. Therefore, they want to kill and enslave us.

Secondly, for anybody that does not know, out of all the troops that we have—which is about enough full-time troops to half fill the MCG, and then we have reserves on top of that—if you take everything away, we have about 3,000 combat troops. Three thousand combat troops in the last 12 years have shared this war between them. Some of them have done six to 10 tours. That means they have already spent five or six years in the war zone. Some of them we are sending back on anti-psychotic drugs.

We are not ready for this war because we stopped spending what we should have spent out of our GDP. That is what the problem is, and we just have not been restocking for years. This is caused by both major sides of politics. And now you are going to send these men and women back into the war zone. Not only that, you still have not returned the 1.5 per cent pay rise that you ripped out of them, that you stole from them. But you can stand in front of their faces and tell them they are going back to war. What sort of men does that make on your cabinet, let alone your PM?

But, for the worst of this, let's go into Veterans' Affairs. Let's go into the theory of 'don't send them to war when you cannot look after them when they return'. Right now you people have put in place a system—


No comments