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Greens: Government must grab chance to get defence spending right

The Australian Greens today welcomed the Federal Government's decision to bring forward the next Defence White Paper by one year, but questioned the extraordinary $40 billion proposal for a fleet of submarines.

Greens spokesperson assisting on defence Senator Scott Ludlam said, "The 2009 White Paper was directionless and bloated, and included a hardware wishlist that was never credible. It was also startlingly undiplomatic, particularly towards China, and sidelined the findings of its own Community Consultation process."

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Wounded and injured Australian troops in Afghanistan

Senator LUDLAM (Western Australia) (14:28): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, Senator Evans. Documents released to the Western Australian newspaper under freedom of information requests reveal that the government's publicly stated figure of over 180 wounded Australians in Afghanistan tells only a fraction of the story. More than 920 wounded and injured Australian soldiers have received compensation for amputated limbs, severe burns, bullets still lodged in flesh and major depression.

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Full story of war in Afghanistan must be told

The Australian Greens today called on the Federal Government to commit to revealing the actual numbers of wounded and injured Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, successfully securing the promise of a review in the way in which casualties are reported.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said the Australian people are entitled to know the full cost of the war without needing to use Freedom of Information laws to secure the truth.

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