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Sticking with Brendan O’Connor for a moment, the shadow defence spokesperson says Labor would have “grave concerns” if a Chinese military base were established in Solomon Islands.
This comes after Scott Morrison yesterday said the establishment of a base there would be a “red line”, without saying how his government would actually respond, with O’Connor saying it was just “post-facto rhetoric”:
We understand what the prime minister says by that. But, really, it’s post-facto rhetoric. We need to see better investment and better engagement in the region … rather than react after the fact.
Given the change in tone and rhetoric and words used by the prime minister, we will seek a briefing from the government. We’ve been getting updates all the way through, and we appreciate that.
It was a smaller sum. [The government’s plan] would go no way to provide support for veterans. It would not increase the frontline staff required to respond to their needs. It would do in no way enough to support those people who’ve put themselves in harm’s way.
People are waiting for days, weeks, months just for some of the more simple applications and claims.