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Why the ADF offers a ‘glimmer of hope’ to Victoria amid the COVID-19 crisis

As coronavirus cases climb in Victoria, calls are increasing for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to play a greater role in the state’s decision-making.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Neil Mitchell that the dispatching of navy chief, Commodore Mark Hill, to Victoria’s coronavirus effort will “provide much-needed leadership direction” to the state.

“When it gets to this scale it needs a different skill set … our defence force people have those skills,” Mr Morrison said.

Neil Mitchell agrees.

He says the defence force offers a “glimmer of hope” to Victoria as the pandemic escalates.

“The military troubleshooters are here to clean it up,” he said.

Executive director of the Australia Defence Association, Neil James, says that the ADF is not an instant solution but they have skills which are invaluable in a crisis situation.

“The military aren’t a panacea for problems but they can occasionally help the public service, and police forces, and fire services, with extra warm bodies and sometimes with a fresh look at things,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“They won’t fix every problem, they can’t fix every problem and they don’t instantly provide you with a reservoir of the people you need.

“People tend to think defence forces work by people shouting at other people.

“They don’t.

“They work by teamwork … that culture doesn’t really exist much in public services these days.”

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