Aus­tralia well served by defence per­son­nel

Townsville Bulletin - - Just Briefly -

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.’’

BREN­DANNEL­SON

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