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Territorials Deserve Job Security

"The part-time Territorial Force soldiers who are holding together our deployment in East Timor need to know that their jobs are protected," National's Defence Spokesman Wayne Mapp said today.

"Territorial soldiers already constitute a considerable proportion of our forces in East Timor, and if the deployments continue the call for Territorial Force soldiers will increase.

"Already, many of those soldiers have had to make a choice of giving up their jobs so they could continue to serve their country. The fact they were confronted with that choice is unfair.

"The Volunteers Employment Protection Bill, due to be debated by Parliament tonight, would give real protection to soldiers deployed overseas.

"The bill which I drafted follows the intentions of our ANZAC partner. Australia has already announced the development of initiatives which cover both job protection for their Reserves, and financial support for their employers.

"New Zealand must follow suit. Volunteer soldiers help the country, the ethics of service enable young men and women to build life skills which enhance their employability.

"Better protection for those soldiers would enable more effective recruiting. This will benefit the country, both for an enhanced military, and to assist more young people in building self esteem, skills, and enable them to fully contribute to our nation," Wayne Mapp said.


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