October 1, 2012
Gippsland army cadets are the latest target of the Gillard Government’s funding cuts.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said cuts to funding for Australian Army Cadet staff and programs would affect the 308 ACU Sale and 308 ACU Bairnsdale.
Mr Chester said the cuts come after the Gillard Government tried to cut Christmas trips home for 22,000 Defence Force personnel, a move which was thwarted by the Coalition in Parliament.
He said the government’s latest decision would result in cuts to all international, regional and local activities, conferences and camps for cadets as well as a one-third reduction in financial remuneration provided for supervision staff.
“Local cadets should not pay the price for the Gillard Government’s reckless and wasteful spending,” Mr Chester said.
“Cutting international, regional and local activities, conferences and camps will only reduce the experience and knowledge gained by cadets and potentially turn others interested in participating away.”
Mr Chester said almost 15 paid days will be cut from the Cadet Forces Allowance for Australian Army Cadet staff members.
“Removing allowances isn’t the way to support staff that help to supervise and educate our young cadets,” Mr Chester said.
“Local cadet staff work hard and happily volunteer much of their time and if it wasn’t for the dedication to the job we would most likely see cadets having less time to parade or attend camps and leadership development courses.”
Mr Chester said the cuts would be in effect for at least the next two financial years.
“The Gillard Government has chosen to sneakily push through these cuts at a Departmental level to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny,” Mr Chester said.
“This government is willing to force cuts on Defence but is not willing to stand by them.
“If it wants to enforce these measures then it should be done on the floor or Parliament rather than sneakily trying to push them through.
“Only the Coalition is committed to properly resourcing Defence and only the Coalition is committed to supporting our Defence Force personnel.”