AUSTRALIAN Defence Force (ADF) personnel with families in the Wannon electorate are among those to benefit from the federal government’s decision to drop its plan to cut their travel entitlements.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan said the government’s backflip over the cut was a win for what was “right and just”.
“I am elated that 22,000 single ADF members aged 21 and over (throughout Australia) will have their entitlement to travel home to see their families reinstated,” Mr Tehan said.
“This will ensure military personnel in the electorate of Wannon will not be forced to make dangerous cross-country trips in their cars to see their families.
“Likewise, the many mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters of defence personnel who live in the electorate of Wannon can breathe a little easier knowing their loved ones will get home faster and safer.”
Mr Tehan said he was disappointed it took a likely defeat on the floor of the Parliament for the federal government to drop the plan.
He thanked those in the Wannon electorate and throughout Australia who signed a petition against the cuts that gained about 15,000 signatures. “Support from the community and those who rallied around this just and right cause is to be applauded and I thank all those who flew the flag on behalf of our troops,” Mr Tehan said.
Mr Tehan also blasted the government for its proposal to cut funding for army cadets.
He said the cadets provided Australia’s future soldiers.
“Any cut to our cadets means that we are harming the future security of our country,” Mr Tehan said.
He joined Liberal candidate for Corangamite Sarah Henderson in calling for the government to drop the proposal.
Ms Henderson said the federal government’s proposal to reduce the cadet allowance for staff from 48 days a year to 33.5 days was a 30 per cent cut.
She said cutting the allowance for staff members would result in less supervision for cadets and would lead to cadets leaving the Australian Army Cadets.
Without staff, cadets would be unable to parade, attend camps and leadership development courses that taught them not only about the military but also about being responsible citizens, she said.
Mr Tehan said he hoped public pressure and the Federal Parliament would lead to the proposal being scrapped.