Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Questions without Notice

National Security

2:34 pm

Photo of Marise PayneMarise Payne (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

I can. The Australian Defence Force continues to make a significant contribution to security and stability around the world, including in the Middle East region, and it's really important to acknowledge the 2,500 Defence personnel who will spend this Christmas on international deployments away from their friends and their families.

In Iraq, Australia continues to make a significant contribution to the international counter-Daesh coalition. This year, 2017, has been a year of strong success for the Iraq security forces, the ISF, who have persevered courageously in the face of an enemy that has employed horrific and barbaric tactics to frustrate their advance. The ISF, with the support of the international coalition, has liberated over 95 per cent of the territory Daesh once controlled, including the major centres of Mosul, Tal Afar, Hawija and Falluja, for example.

In Afghanistan, we have increased our commitment of Australian personnel to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission to around 300, to assist the Afghan national defence and security forces to develop and grow their capacity and capability to secure their own country. Through the continued hard work of the men and women of the ADF and members of the coalition, we are determined to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a terrorist haven.

The Australian Navy has also continued to make a significant contribution to maritime security in the region through Operation MANITOU. From the ship's companies of HMAS Arunta to HMAS Newcastlewhich I helped welcome home on Saturday—and HMAS Warramunga, the men and women of the Navy have continued their efforts and prevented the smuggling of illicit cargo that helps to fund terrorist networks.

I remind senators that I began my remarks by saying, in relation to the 2,500 men and women of the ADF who are deployed at this time of year, when the rest of us have the privilege and pleasure of spending it with our families, then, with respect, we should acknowledge their service and we should acknowledge their separation from their families and loved ones.


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