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The Hon Richard Marles MP
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Defence
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - 02 6277 7800 - email@example.com
17 January 2023
BEN FORDHAM, HOST: I want to quickly go to Richard Marles, who has phoned in, the Defence Minister. He wants to pay tribute as well. Richard, a shock, not entirely unexpected, considering his health difficulties, but what a man.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER RICHARD MARLES: Yeah, and a shock nonetheless, Ben. It's nice to talk to you, but I feel very sad about the news. I've only learned about it in the last half hour. And Jim was always somebody who was very good to me. I mean, we are obviously on opposite sides of the fence, but we both shared an interest in national security and I've had a number of discussions with Jim over the years and he is an honourable and gracious man. And having served in the Senate for five years, he's been a fierce advocate for our nation. But we should also not forget that Senator Jim Molan was also Major General Jim Molan and gave four decades of service in our Army to our country, deployed in PNG, East Timor, Iraq. He is mourned today by a very deeply grateful nation.
FORDHAM: This will be a tough one for the defence community. I've got a note here from Justin saying, “as a veteran this news has hit me hard. I love listening to Major General and Senator Molan on your show”. A massive man for Australia and a very impressive man as well. This will be a tough one for the defence community.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I think that's right. And I think many people looked up to Jim, rightly so, he was a very clear voice in what he believed, but he was an advocate for the, well, for our nation's security, obviously, but for the defence community, as you say, and I can well understand that there will be many in the defence community today who are feeling very sad and are grieving by virtue of the news we are hearing today. And that's really as it should be, because we have lost a very great Australian.
FORDHAM: Thank you so much for sharing your tribute, Richard. We'll talk to you soon.
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: Thanks Ben.