Drug-deal­ing Dig­gers would shame us all

Townsville Bulletin - - Voice of the North -

SOL­DIERS smuggling goods back to their home coun­tries af­ter over­seas de­ploy­ments is not new but it is amaz­ing to think it still goes on. In the 15th cen­tury, Span­ish and Por­tuguese sailors were smuggling valu­able spices back home in the hope they could sell them on the black mar­ket for pro­hib­i­tive sums. In the Korean con­flict in the early 1950s, US Marines bought gold cheaply in Korea and smug­gled it home to sell at huge prof­its. Dur­ing the Viet­nam War, US sol­diers – and CIA op­er­a­tives – were ac­cused of bring­ing back high­qual­ity heroin to sell. In 2010, Bri­tish sol­diers were ac­cused of smuggling heroin from Afghanistan poppy fields and then in De­cem­ber the Aus­tralian Navy was rocked by ac­cu­sa­tions up to 50 sailors were smuggling drugs on war­ships. Now it’s the Aus­tralian Army’s turn with de­fence force in­ves­ti­ga­tors prob­ing a whistle­blower’s claim Townsville Dig­gers are com­ing home from Afghanistan with much more than left­over ‘‘ rat packs’’ and in­ter­est­ing sto­ries. Many Aussies recog­nise our nation’s proud mil­i­tary his­tory and we re­vere those who of­fer – and who have of­fered – their lives in the name of their coun­try and its peo­ple. If the drug smuggling al­le­ga­tions are true, it must be dealt with in the harsh­est way. For not only would the of­fend­ers have bro­ken the law, they would have com­mit­ted a great be­trayal to our Dig­gers’ in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion as men of hon­our, courage and un­ques­tion­able loy­alty. The drug scourge has cost count­less lives and ru­ined many more. But civil­ians should have faith that our sol­diers are fight­ing the good fight and they will not let the ac­tions of a few sully their good names.

A night to re­mem­ber

AROUND 270 peo­ple packed the Jupiters Grand Ball­room on Satur­day night to make the Cy­clone Yasi Char­ity Din­ner and Auc­tion a huge suc­cess. Fig­ures quoted on the night es­ti­mate more than $ 30,000 was raised for the Premier’s Disas­ter Re­lief Ap­peal which is huge from a re­gional cen­tre. The en­ter­tain­ment, the food, the auc­tions and the par­ty­ing def­i­nitely made it a night to re­mem­ber. Thank you to the guests, the spon­sors, the en­ter­tain­ers and Jupiters for an out­stand­ing event.

There’s a Storm com­ing

DON’T for­get, the Cow­boys will be bank­ing on a vo­cal home crowd tonight when they host Mel­bourne in a crunch game. Af­ter two cy­clones and more floods than Matty Bowen’s line breaks this year, surely we’re not wor­ried about a lit­tle breeze from the south call­ing them­selves a Storm . . .

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