The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
The events in Kabul are a murderous atrocity and if anyone was ever in any doubt about the righteousness of the Australian mission in Afghanistan this is a brutal reminder of the terrorists and criminals we were fighting against and the threats they posed to our national security and security of the world.
I would like to acknowledge the men and the women of the Australian Defence Force, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Home Affairs and our security agencies that have done so much to evacuate Australians and visa holders from Kabul.
Over 4100 people have been evacuated, which is an extraordinary effort.
Today we grieve with the people of the United States and Afghanistan and condemn the callous attacks on innocent civilians and American service personnel who were there solely to guard and protect the international evacuation effort.
We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the injured and those who lost loved ones.
I urge any Australians seeking to return home, to register their details with DFAT via dfat.gov.au.
If you are in Afghanistan, or you are an Afghan national, and need to enquire about a visa or citizenship application contact +61 2 6196 0196.
Given reports that ISIS-K militants have also attacked the Taliban, my fear is that once allied forces have left, the veneer of security will break down and Kabul will sink into lawless chaos.
Twenty years ago, Australia stood up to defend freedom. The men and women of the ADF who served in Afghanistan should take great pride in their achievements.
Our troops were respected by our allies, feared by our enemies, and greatly appreciated by the people of Afghanistan they gave so much support and assistance to.
Nothing more could have been asked of our Afghanistan veterans, and nothing more could have been asked of Australia.
Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.