Standing up for Canberra


I rise to speak on an issue I have been campaigning on for the past six weeks—the government's unfair and insulting ADF pay and conditions offer. Today the Prime Minister backtracked on parts of the unfair offer, and while Labor welcomes this backdown the Prime Minister has not gone far enough. He is still cutting the real pay of our service men and women, he is still cutting the real pay of the people who defend Australia and our national interests, who we put in harm's way.

This unfair pay offer has caused outrage in ADF ranks, and among their families and the wider community. There has been a flood of complaints on social media, a rally in Townsville and a petition presented to the Leader of the Opposition today —all opposing this outrageous offer. In fact, the petition was created by Tony Daggett, the father of a serving ADF member, who sits here in the chamber today. 

The petition has attracted more than 60,000 signatures, and Tony is hoping that figure will eventually reach a quarter of a million. I would also like to acknowledge Ray Martin, who also joins us in the chamber, for his work in organising the Townsville rally; Sarah Lowe, the spouse of an ADF member; and Cameron Daggett, Tony's son. Thank you, Tony and Ray, for your work in standing up for the nation's 57,000 service men and women. 

ADF members do not have a voice in their pay and conditions negotiations. They cannot vote and they cannot take industrial action. That is why Labor has, and will continue to, stand up for our ADF personnel. Australia, show your support for a fair deal for our service men and women. Sign up to Tony Daggett's petition.

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