Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Jeremy Hanson is calling on all parties in the ACT Legislative Assembly to publicly and vigorously oppose the plan to cut $300 billion from the Australian defence budget, as proposed by the Greens.
“The ACT is home to the Australian Defence Force headquarters, approximately 8,000 direct ADF staff and a further 7,000 defence personnel in the APS,” said Mr Hanson, a former military officer.
“The economic contribution of the defence industry to the ACT and surrounding region is $4.3 billion GSP and around 25,000 defence related jobs.
“Against this background, the Australian Greens have pledged to cut defence spending by $300 billion, which would halve the defence budget.
“Cuts of this magnitude would be devastating to the ACT economy and cause thousands of lost jobs. It would also place ADF personnel at significantly increased risk and fatally compromise security.
“This is not the usual fringe statement by the Greens. They have repeatedly stated they plan to form coalition government with the ALP and hold the balance of power.”
One of the seats they have targeted to achieve that is right here in Canberra.
“That’s why, as a matter of urgency, I am calling on the leaders of the three parties represented in the ACT Assembly to write to all Federal Greens representatives and express their concern for the safety and lives of ADF personnel and the economic and job losses their planned Defence cuts would cause, and to oppose this plan.
“I call on Labor and the Greens to stand with me in support of our brave men and women in uniform, for our economy and local public service jobs.
“Now is the time for them to show their true colours – do they support local jobs and national security, or do local Labor and Greens members also support this dangerous, delusional plan?”
Mr Hanson will put forward a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly today that calls on the leaders of the three parties to write to all Federal Greens representatives.