Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin
Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Housing
Minister for Homelessness, Social and Community Housing
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Funding Cuts to Army Cadets in Ringwood East

On the back of cutting trips home for Christmas for some 22,000 troops, the Gillard Labor Government is now looking to cut funding for Australia’s Army Cadets, a move that will affect the cadets at Army Cadet Unit Norwood-Ringwood.
Michael Sukkar said cutting the Cadet Forces Allowance for Australian Army Cadet staff members would result in less supervision for cadets in the electorate of Deakin and would ultimately lead to cadets leaving the Australian Army Cadets.

“The Gillard Labor Government’s decision to reduce the Cadet Forces Allowance for staff from 48 days per year to just 33.5 days represents a 30 per cent cut,” Mr Sukkar said.

“Without staff, cadets at Army Cadet Unit Norwood-Ringwood will be unable to parade, unable to attend camps and unable to attend leadership development courses that teach them not only about the military but also about being responsible citizens.”

“We know the cadet staff at Army Cadet Unit Norwood-Ringwood have a wonderful ethos and happily volunteer much of their time. However, these cuts will only de-value their important role in educating and enriching the lives of young cadets.”

Mr Sukkar said these latest cuts were a shameful act by the Gillard Labor Government, which has chosen to push through the cuts at a departmental level, avoiding parliamentary scrutiny.

“An internal Defence memo has confirmed the cuts are inevitable, but what it also shows is the Government is willing to force cuts on Defence, but is not willing to stand by them,” he said.

“The Departmental memo also makes clear that Australian Army Cadet staff will have a reduced timeframe to submit pay claims; and that all international, regional and local activities, conferences and camps for cadets will be cut, along with access to ration packs for camps.”

“This will obviously come as a great shock and disappointment to the cadets and staff at Army Cadet Unit Norwood-Ringwood.”

“Young cadets and staff at Army Cadet Unit Norwood-Ringwood are now being made to pay for Labor’s reckless and wasteful spending programs.”

“Only the Coalition is committed to properly resourcing Defence and supporting our Defence personnel.”