Article: EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Diggers vs the Gillard Government | Independent Australia

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Diggers vs the Gillard Government | Independent Australia

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Diggers vs the Gillard Government



by Tess Lawrence

By Tess Lawrence | Contributing editor-at-large

“In 30 years as a member of the Labor Party, I continually found greed, corruption, self-interest, branch stacking and elected representatives who often scoffed at the plight of their constituents…” ~ Former NSW Labor politician Ian McManus

Our Diggers are at war.

Not with the Taliban.

Not with Al-Qaeda.

But with the Australian Government.

Our Diggers have been betrayed.

Not by the Taliban.

Not by Al-Qaeda.

But by the Australian Government.

They have been subjected to political waterboarding and demeaned by the ‘scuttling’ of the Coalition’s Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Amendment Bill (Fair Indexation) 2010 that would have afforded them and their heirs a few more paltry dollars in the event they lived long enough — or didn’t.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of what must rank as the most ill thought political assassination in Australia since Federation.

It saw Julia Gillard, the Red Queen, eased by her ambitious and needy courtiers into the Labor Party’s High Chair, already heavily stained with bodily fluids, over the (quelle horreur) workaholic incumbent Kevin Rudd.

Julia Gillard kisses retiring former head of the Armed Forces Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston

The previous night, in fitting ceremony, all sides of parliament quite rightly paid tribute to the retiring Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, who is stepping down as Defence Chief.

Never mind that he’s reigned over a period of extraordinary disquiet — one enquiry alone dealing with about a 1000 allegations of sexual assault.

No doubt, as a civilian, Mr Houston will quite rightly enjoy a pension suitable to his station in life.

Sadly, our Vets and serving Diggers will not.

Some soldiers become bureaucrats more easily than others.

Retired Brigadier Neil Weekes is not one of those.

Yep, he was called up in Nasho and served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, serving in South Vietnam where as a Platoon Commander he was awarded the Military Cross for Gallantry.

Fast forward to a lifetime of deaths. Today he is Patron of the Vietnam Veterans’ Association (Townsville Branch) and Patron of the National Servicemen’s Association of Australia (Townsville Branch and Patron of the Townsville Branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) and a whole lot more.

He’s also a bit of a sacred elder. Not only to retired Diggers. But also to younger Diggers overseas.

But Neil and other military elders have told these kids to keep their heads down. He and others will take the hits for them.

One of those ‘others’ is none other than former NSW Labor politician Ian McManus. Neither Neil nor Ian intend to surrender. There will be no white flag.



  1. Tess Lawrence says

    Thank you for republishing my Independent Australia article. I want to pay tribute to you
    all for what I now understand to be a longtime injustice. And just one of several that our Defence Forces, past and present, have had to endure. Those letters by Neil and Ian expose the level of lies, deceit and hypocrisy you’ve been subjected to – and by successive governments.
    Much is made of trying to win the hearts and minds of people in other countries. It is time that
    the Gillard Govt and her other politicial accomplices in this continuing travesty, concentrated on winning your hearts and minds. Your support and networking is critical. The Defence Forces Family has a right to be treated fairly in what is supposed to be a democracy that espouses
    transparent and open government. Nothing could be further from the truth in this instance.
    So please distribute the article far and wide, and Facebook and Twitter, etc. Your voice is entitled to be heard. You have the right to be treated as the first among equals.

    • ISAF keeps a running count of the pgrecntaees in terms of various statistics, such as population or troops in theater. In terms of pure numbers, the U.S. has lost more than anyone. Because we are such a huge country, it all gets spread out, the statistics don’t seem as overwhelming, and we don’t seem to notice it as much. To each family, though, no matter where the soldier comes from, the loss is monumental. May they all rest in peace.

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