Why Peter Dutton has overturned the decision to strip SAS soldiers of medals
Special forces veterans will only be stripped of their meritorious unit citations if they are convicted of war crimes or sacked for poor conduct.
Last year the Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell, said he would recommend the citations be stripped from the Special Operations Task Group in the wake of the Brereton report.
But new Defence Minister Peter Dutton has overruled the decision today.
“I wanted to recognise the 99 per cent of people who have done the right thing, they sacrificed in some cases their lives,” he told 6PR’s Gareth Parker.
“We wanted particularly before ANZAC day for people to know that it was okay and proper for them to where their medals.
“There were some very serious allegations that have been made against a number of Australian Defence Force personnel, and if they are found to be guilty of the allegations then they will lose their unit citations.”
The federal Defence Minister is also hoping state health authorities will revisit their COVID-19 restrictions ahead of ANZAC Day services on Sunday.
A number of local RSLs have had to cancel dawn services due to strict coronavirus measures, making events unfeasible for organisers.
“It’s difficult for people to comprehend why you can bring 30, 50 or 70,000 people together for a football match but you can’t allow people for an ANZAC day ceremony,” he said.
“I hope that some of these decisions can be revisited by the weekend.”
Click pay to hear more.
(Photo: Getty Images.)