THE Federal Government has been accused of delaying a high-priority project costing just $7.5 million to improve protection for Diggers in Afghanistan.
Despite Labor’s Budget pledge to spend $1.1 billion to upgrade body armour and weapons for frontline troops, the Herald Sun can reveal a research project called “soldier survivability” that was commissioned by the Army has been put on hold because there is no financing.
Families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to act now.
Jennifer Ward, the mother of Pte Benjamin Ranaudo who was killed by a roadside bomb last year, said it was a disgrace politicians were spending millions on election campaigns.
“She (the PM) would have my vote if she spent the extra $7.5 million they need. The more improvements they have, the fewer boys we are going to have coming home the wrong way,” she said.
The father of Victorian soldier Pte Gregory Sher, killed in a rocket attack in Afghanistan in 2009, said it was remarkable the Government found billions to spend on a pink-batt home insulation program and inflated schoolground renovations but not for soldier safety.
“It’s something that is paramount and extremely important, and shouldn’t be put on the backburner because of politics,” Felix Sher said.
As far as I’m concerned this is disgusting behaviour by our Federal Government. It seems it’s alright to waste Billions of Dollars on the BER program, pink bats, etc. but the Government can’t look after our Men and Women that are fighting overseas. There has been so much waste of money, and Julia announced the other day $400 Million for old cluckers, this seems more important to her than our own Defence Personal, who are only asking for $7.5 Million, it beggers belief. Protecting our Soldiers should be a number one priority.