TRANSCRIPT: Q&A ON CPL BEN ROBERTS-SMITH VC
TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E & OE
DATE: 29 February 2012
TOPICS: Cpl Ben Roberts-Smith; Bob Carr.
QUESTION: Senator, what was your response when you heard these remarks?
DAVID FEENEY: I’ve obviously heard the remarks that were made on the program The Circle concerning Benjamin Roberts-Smith and I think it’s inappropriate for people to make those sorts of comments in that sort of public space around our men and women in uniform, people who do the most extraordinary and dangerous work for and their country and on behalf of their country.
In this particular case we are talking about someone who has one won the highest award there is for gallantry, the Victoria Cross. I am very keen for Australians to remember the work these people do and that they be thought of and respected appropriately.
QUESTION: Channel 10 has issued a statement and an apology. Do you think that’s enough?
DAVID FEENEY: I think that’s welcome, and I think it is a useful moment in public life for everyone just to take a breath and remember that these people are not an appropriate target for the sort of conversation that we saw on that program but rather these people do things that are extraordinary. They do them for us and they do them in our name. It’s a very special service and Australians should honour it, as they always have in the past.
QUESTION: Another thing, he doesn’t really have the chance to respond. Does he, being in this position?
DAVID FEENEY: Without having spoken to him I’m sure he doesn’t want to, I want to because I don’t want to see that kind of conversation being tolerated about people who just do the most difficult and dangerous work for their country.
QUESTION: Was the PM rolled by the factions when it comes to bringing Bob Carr in?
DAVID FEENEY: That’s an easy one for me to answer, listen I knew nothing about it until I read the story in the paper this morning and it’s obviously nonsense. I can’t really put it any plainer than that. I’d go so far as to say the story is a complete invention.
Adam Carr (Senator Feeney’s office) (02) 6277 3415
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999