AFP officers have not received a pay rise for two years and now 280 of them are facing pay cuts of up to 35 per cent of their wage. This from a government that prides itself on being tough on crime; this from a government that maintains it is a friend of law enforcement. This government is cutting $100 million from the AFP's budget, which is more than 10 per cent of the AFP's overall national policing budget.
Of these officers, many live and work here in my electorate of Canberra. They protect and provide security for the Prime Minister and the Governor-General. They work in witness protection, in surveillance and in counterterrorism. They are proud servants of democracy; they are proud protectors of our community; and they are proud defenders of our nation. How does this government pay them back? By cutting their wages by 35 per cent.
This government has got form when it comes to ripping pay and conditions from hard-working Australians in uniform. In 2014 this government tried to cut the pay and conditions of ADF personnel, but, thanks to fights by Labor, defence associations and veterans, the government backtracked. It took them five months to do it but they backtracked and reinstated those conditions and pay. This government is trying it on again with our AFP officers. As we did for the ADF, Labor will stand with the AFP against the unfair cuts to their pay and conditions.