The federal Opposition has questioned the need for public funds to be spent on providing some women serving in the Australian Navy with breast enlargements.Of course. Silly election season junk isn't just an American canker (BTW, aren't their Aussie military types, you know, at war in AFG and IRQ?). Wonder what the Dutch Navy women have to say?
The Defence Department says the Navy allows some woman to have the procedure for psychological rather than just physical reasons.
Opposition defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon says he wants details about the cases.
"On the face of it, taxpayer-funded breast enhancement is a questionable practice, it comes right out of left field and I have to say smacks of a government out of touch," he said.
"But we'll ask some questions in the Parliament in the coming week to see whether we can determine the real reasons behind the case and therefore determine whether it's an appropriate practice."
But Defence spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic says the breast enhancement surgery is only paid for by the Defence Force if there is a clinical need.
"Under Defence policy, we do consider the broader needs of our people, both physical and psychological," he said.
"But that is a long way from saying that if someone doesn't like their appearance, Defence will fund things like breast augmentation as a matter of routine - that is just not correct."
Defence Association spokesman Neil James has also defended the practice.
"For psychiatric or psychological reasons, this has been recommended after a medical evaluation," he said.
"It's not being done because someone just wanted it."
The Department says any suggestion that women have had the procedure "look sexy" is not only wrong, but insulting.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I don't think a Navy has been such a national political issue since Pat Schroder's boy-toys played with their Rhinos.