Matters of Public Importance – Defence Personnel, Monday 6 November, 2023
Senator BABET (Victoria—United Australia Party Whip) (16:44): I thank everyone who has served in our Defence Force and is currently serving. A report published in May unfortunately showed that our military will reach only 73 per cent of its recruitment target. The security situation in our region is unfortunately tense right when our success in recruiting soldiers is at its lowest. Obviously, this is a recipe for disaster.
On top of that, a parliamentary committee was told earlier this year that about 6½ thousand personnel are leaving the ADF every single year. Can I make a small suggestion? It will always be difficult to recruit young men and women to defend their country when they are continually told that their country is built on stolen land. It will always be difficult to convince young men and women to sacrifice for their country when they are continually told that their country is racist.
It will always be difficult to raise a generation of patriots when children are told that our culture is not worthy of saving. Some of the responsibility for this unwillingness of people to serve must be borne by us in this chamber—not me; I’m a patriot. But all your woke lefty activists in this place and your closet—if we want people to defend our country, senators must speak of what is worth defending. The words that we use have power. The images that we can paint have consequences.
We must stop using this place as a pulpit to divide Australia and instead use it as a place to inspire pride in what is the greatest country in the world: this nation right here, this country, this green and gold. We must defend it. We must protect it. It’s the best country in the world, and I’m sick of all of you.