HON ANDREW HASTIE MP - SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE - MEMBER FOR CANNING
Wednesday 9 November 2022
STATEMENT ON EX-RAAF FIGHTER PILOTS APPROACHED BY PLA
Reports that ex-Australian fighter pilots were approached by Chinese interests to provide military training to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are deeply concerning.
Such conduct, if these allegations are verified, is highly improper and contrary to the Australian national interest.
Our national military secrets—including tactics, techniques and procedures for our elite fighter pilots—must be safeguarded by serving Defence members and our veterans. They are not for sale to another country.
The Opposition therefore welcomes the Department of Defence examining current policies and procedures governing ex-ADF personnel who have served in classified and sensitive capabilities.
The responsibility for protecting these national secrets does not cease when personnel separate from the ADF. It is a continuing obligation on our veterans and the ADF must ensure that this obligation has both moral and legal foundations.
The Coalition welcomes the opportunity to receive further information from the government on this matter.
Three weeks ago, the Opposition stated that if legislation is required to deal with this matter, we will work closely with the government to further safeguard our sensitive national capabilities.
Our position remains unchanged, and we trust the government is making this an urgent priority.
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