Replacement dress boots for Australian Army dress uniforms became a hot topic last year when the soles of hundreds of boots were left behind during a parade on the Townsville Strand.
Townsville-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald immediately raised the matter in the Senate chamber and then again at Senate Estimates hearings.
“The Defence Department undertook soon after that time to discontinue their contract with the off-shore supplier of the dress boots.”
Instead the Department entered a contract with Australian footwear company RM Williams to provide a higher-quality boot.
“This came as a great relief to all involved. The soldiers of 3rd Brigade in Townsville – and their counterparts elsewhere in the nation and around the world – would now be spared the embarrassment of their soles coming away while parading. Additionally an Australian employer was to be awarded the contract for providing thousands of pairs of boots to the Australian Defence Force.”
“The problem, it seemed, was solved.”
Senator Macdonald was naturally dismayed when the same thing occurred last weekend.
“3rd Brigade was conducting its Freedom of the City march on the weekend and apparently in the interests of uniformity of appearance the old boots were worn.”
“Sadly but inevitably a number of soles were left behind.”
The Chinese made boots are being gradually replaced with RM Williams boots however it appears many of the old pairs remain in use.
“I am shocked that we would put our fighting men and women through this needless embarrassment”