Street poll: Should women be in frontline combat?
Triggered by the Skype sex scandal, the Government has brought forward the initiative which would lift the ban on women in frontline combat positions.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said people’s roles in the forces should be based on their physical and intellectual capacity, not gender.
“It opens up all of the leadership roles for women in defence – and that’s an unambiguously good thing,” he said.
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott supports the move, but he has questioned the Government’s timing.
“This issue is unconnected with the ADFA issue and you wonder why the Government has suddenly thrown this into the mix,” he said.
“It does seem like a Government in search of a distraction.”
Women can currently perform in 93 percent of defence positions in the ADF.
If the change is implemented, Australia would join New Zealand, Canada and France, who already have women on the frontline.