Government fails to address pay & conditions in the Defence Forces

Senator Mark Wall
14 November 2023

Labour’s Defence on spokesperson, Senator Mark Wall has expressed deep concern following the alarming results unveiled by the Representative Association of Commissioned Officers Survey.

Senator Wall said:

“These survey results are deeply concerning and demand immediate attention from Government. The scale of officers intending to leave their posts within the next decade presents a crisis that cannot be overlooked. We owe it to our Defence Forces, their families, to address the root causes of this concerning trend.

“The survey indicated that almost 50% of surveyed military officers intend to depart their military careers within the coming ten years. Government must recognise that these findings are symptomatic of broader issues surrounding recruitment and retention. We cannot ignore the reality that the conditions within the Defence Forces have failed to meet the needs of our dedicated service members. It’s imperative to undertake swift and substantial measures to improve their working conditions and remuneration.

“Rather than addressing clear issues around pay, terms and conditions, and culture in the Forces, Government have kept the Defence Forces at arm’s length, unable or unwilling to grasp the nettle.

“Labour urges the government to take decisive action to rectify the core pay and conditions for Defence Force members. Families associated with the Defence Forces should not be compelled to rely on social welfare to sustain themselves, and those dedicated to safeguarding our nation should not be subjected to living in poverty.”

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