23 Aug 2006

Australian military excludes Pacific islanders in latest recruitment drive

1:59 pm on 23 August 2006

It's been confirmed that the Australian Defence Force recruitment of 3,000 more soldiers is restricted to Australian citizens only and will not be extended to Pacific Islanders.

The Fiji Times quotes the public affairs officer at the Australian High Commission in Suva, Dennis Rounds, as saying the ADF has no plans to recruit men from the Pacific.

Mr Rounds says should Pacific Islanders migrate to Australia and apply for enlistment, they will be considered along with all other applicants.

The ADF had earlier announced plans to recruit more soldiers because of rising attrition levels within the force and increasing overseas troop commitments.

Fiji soldiers and civilians expressed interest in signing up because they thought it was similar to the recruitment by the British armed forces in which 3,000 Fijians are serving.