Senate debates

Wednesday, 4 August 2021


Australian Defence Force

1:54 pm

Photo of David VanDavid Van (Victoria, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

It's well known that we in Australia have a world-class Defence Force, arguably one of the best in the world. We have men and women who are proud members of our Air Force, Army and Navy and who serve their country with distinction and honour. The Brereton report, released last year, brought to light that it was possible a small group of people within our ADF may not have acted in accordance with the values and standards that their fellow service men and women uphold so proudly. The transparent and dignified way that our Chief of Defence Force and his leadership team have managed this is a true mark of their strength and integrity. Recently, Defence released its response to the Brereton inquiry, setting out a clear and deliberate reform program. The reform program will address past actions and take appropriate action where needed to prevent unwelcome behaviour from occurring again. The inquiry made 191 findings and 143 recommendations. Defence has accepted all the findings and is committed to addressing all the recommendations made.

At times like this it is also important to remember the work that the ADF do. Their clear and primary mission is to protect Australia's national security interests, but over and above that, they help state governments during the pandemic or bushfires, when they assist with rescue operations and medical and disaster relief, or we can look further afield to where our ADF members have been deployed to assist our family in the Pacific. We should also reflect on both the significant achievements and heartbreaking sacrifices made on battlefields around the world, most recently in the Middle East. Sacrifices are still being made today as our people spend long periods of time away from their families. I thank those people serving in our Defence Force for keeping Australia safe.