A newspaper report before ANZAC Day said the Army Reserve in south-east Queensland had run out of money for the financial year and that all Tuesday-night and weekend parading was cancelled until July because of this budget blunder.
CONTACT sought clarification from Defence.
We asked if the story was true – and we specifically asked if it was confined to south-east Queensland.
Defence’s official response was… “Contrary to media reporting, Army Reserve members continue to parade in South East Queensland and the Reserve force is adequately funded. Regular Tuesday parade nights and training weekends continue, however some activities have been modified or rescheduled at the Brisbane-based 11th Brigade. Priority tasks, including career and initial employment training courses, and essential unit governance continue as scheduled. Members of the 11th Brigade supported all ceremonial activities on Anzac Day, including at regional locations in Queensland.”
Was Defence open and honest – and complete – in its answer to CONTACT?
We asked our readers for a boots-on-the-ground perspective….
“CO was told [on one] Monday afternoon that everything was to be shut down until further notice, so Tuesday parade was cancelled. We all got the brief and got told we were in limbo with all activities including Anzac Day cancelled, bar end-of-year exercise. Friday comes and we are told Tuesday’s are back on, but we are only allowed two guards on Anzac Day and no one else can be in uniform, no one else will be paid. A few weekend activities were put back on and larger activities reduced.”
“Pretty much how it happened. Came in on a Tuesday night and told not to come back to July (immediately opened the Boozer). Notified via Face Book to come in next Tuesday night and told they were back on, weekends and exercises were cancelled, some courses gone, and ANZAC Day was voluntary. Later some got paid if they did a task like Cenotaph. No parade card for next financial year as yet so we will see what happens. Only thing we were ever told was they had to save money. The Reserve has had this before, but never so sudden.”
“It’s not just Queensland. I’m in WA, and 13 Brigade has a stop-parade on. You will find a smattering of senior staff and those readying to deploy etc still working, but members were notified by text messages that all parades and exercises are cancelled until the last week of June.”
“Not just Queensland, 4 BDE is on the bones of their arse as well.”
“In SA, Tuesday night parades have been cancelled and restrictions on weekends as well.”
“This isn’t the first time this has happened in my 27 years of service. It isn’t a rumour, it is happening.”
“It was no rumour it was real.”
“It’s true…and not just Army.”
“I’m with 2/17 RNSWR. Last parade night was the 8th June and we were told not to come back till the 19th July. No reason given, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work it out “no $$$$$”.”
We would still like to hear from any Reservists who have had Tuesday-night parades or any other activity cancelled. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Your answers will be handled in strict confidence.