Australia well served by defence personnel
IT is a great honour and privilege to serve as Australia’s Minister for Defence because of what the men and women ofthe Australian Defence Force do every day on behalfofall Australians.
Australia is served exceptionally well by our defence force, and the courage, dedication and professionalism of our service men and women is something that all Australians can be very proud of.
It has been a busy year for the Townsville defence community and this Christmas many ofyour loved ones will be serving overseas.
To the families of those away from home on operations, I know that in most cases you have been able to communicate with your loved ones and wish them the very best for the Christmas and New Year period.
I assure you that I will do everything I possibly can, along with the Prime Minister and the ChiefofDef ence, to see that all ofour men and women return safely home and will not be away from home a day longer than is absolutely necessary.
To those serving overseas this Christmas — and at this time ofyear especially when we reflect on what is important to us in life, our beliefs, and our Aussie values — you must know that every one ofus at home is extremely proud ofyou.
2006 has also been a very sad year for the Townsville community with the tragic loss ofCaptain Mark Bingley last month. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Captain Bingley’s family throughout this difficult time.
The men and women ofthe ADF are doing a very important job on behalfof our country. They serve throughout the region and our world protecting and helping those who are vulnerable and less fortunate than us.
No group ofAustralians has done more to shape and define our identity as Australians, and we thank them for their commitment and sacrifice.
On behalfofthe Government and all Australians, I wish you all the best possible Christmas that you can have.’’