Australian Defence Minister Payne must be sacked

Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, has released a new YouTube short video featuring victim of identity theft - SAS Trooper Evan Donaldson, where she calls for Prime Minister Turnbull to sack Defence Minister Payne.

“Last Thursday, the 10th of December, Australian Defence Minister Payne had personal oversight of a special mediation process between ADF lawyers and lawyers representing SAS Trooper Evan Donaldson – and was responsible for a compensation offer which would have left Mr Donaldson and his wife Dr Phoebe over $100K worse off – if they took up the Defence Minister’s offer.” said Senator Lambie.

“At first glance to an outsider, the offer seemed substantial, in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, if Evan accepted the government deal, which was personally authorised by the new Defence Minister Payne – Evan’s legal bill, after a six-year fight, would not have even been paid.

In fact, if Evan had signed Defence Minister Payne’s offer, Mr Donaldson would have been left with a debt of over a hundred thousand dollars in taxes and unpaid legal fees, and still would have been denied compensation for six years of lost wages worth millions of dollars that were stolen from him by senior members of the Australian Defence Force,” Senator Lambie said.

“Today Evan Donaldson and his wife Dr Phoebe are nearly broke. They are behind in mortgage payments and are now finding it very hard to put food on the table in the lead up to Xmas. The people who committed this crime and covered it up for 6 years are still employed by Mr Turnbull’s government - and have never been held to account for their actions.

``Defence Minister Payne, who had a chance on 10th of December 2015 - to deliver fair compensation to Mr Donaldson – failed, despite promising me face to face that she would take a personal interest in the case. I’m now calling on Prime Minister Turnbull to take charge and immediately act.

``He must sack Defence Minister Payne and replace her with someone who will not be part of a cover-up of a crime, which has lasted for six years, and denied justice to SAS Trooper Donaldson and his family. In closing, I have this message and plea to fellow crossbench senators and members of the Greens and Opposition. SAS Trooper Donaldson’s case, unfortunately, is not unique.

``Fraudulent and criminal management of defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs records is common by government bureaucrats - who are desperate to cover up their official misconduct - as they deny our veterans and serving members access to their rightful entitlements.

``Australia doesn’t have the obscene veterans’ suicide, homelessness and incarceration rates – for no reason!'' Senator Lambie said.