Andrew Hastie calls for army to stop funding gender reassignment

Western Australian Liberal MP is calling on the army to stop funding gender reassignment surgery for military personnel.

In a speech delivered to the Defence Christian Dinner last month, and reported in The Australian, Hastie said he had decided to leave the military and end his career in the SAS because he was opposed to the “radical social engineering” that he saw in the organisation.

“I do not see how these surgeries ­enhance our war-fighting capability as a nation. It’s a bad joke. Why is the ADF now a ­vehicle for radical social engineering?” Hastie said.

“I repudiate the aggressive ­social engineering that has been taking place in the ADF, particularly in the army,” Hastie said.

“The military is no place for the latest academic fad or trendy political orthodoxy. We have lives at stake every time we send our people in the field. Commanders particularly need to be clear-eyed about the threats they face and how they can defeat them.”

Over the past five years seventeen army personnel have been provided with gender reassignment surgery, at a cost of just over 1 million dollars. The costs do not cover the medications that would have also been provided.

The ADF’s annual healthcare budget is around $430 million annually.

Labor’s spokesperson for Defence Amanda Rishworth defended the expenditure.

“The ADF spends money on a range of health treatments to support the wellbeing of its workforce and in recognition that an equitable and diverse workforce is a valuable capability enabler. Labor supports an ADF that supports its people to maximise ­defence outcomes for Australia,”

Hastie’s comments drew criticism from retired Army and Air Force officer Catherine McGregor.  McGregor, who transitioned while serving in the army, said the comments were unwarranted.

“Is this a country where any patriotic citizen who is willing to serve their country is entitled to serve their country?” McGregor told the ABC.

“If you serve your country you sign a contract of unlimited liability … that carries with it an implication that you will be looked after medically.”

Hastie’s call for the funding to be removed has found support among his Liberal colleagues and fellow conservatives.

Liberal MP Craig Kelly said it was appropriate for the military to provide counseling services to people with gender dysphoria but the funding for gender transitioning should be removed.

Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has also joined the chorus calling for the funding to be scrapped, while Lyle Shelton head of the Australian Christian Lobby also voiced support.

Sky News mock transgender people in the defence forces

Rowan Dean, editor of The Spectator and political commentator on Sky News, mocked the army’s support for transgender service personal saying it was a secret strategy to confuse enemy troops.

“I think it might be a secret strategy.” Dean said on The Outsiders program. “We know Australia’s going to be invaded soon, possibly January 26, one time a real invasion will occur. It will either be the Indonesian hordes coming down or it’ll be the Chinese hordes coming down, or it will be the North Korean hordes coming down.”

“What’s going to happen, this cunning plan of Marise Payne’s, what’s going to happen, is the hordes will come charging across invading us, and they’ll think they’ve got the whole country, and then through the mist, they’ll see the elite forces of the ADF coming to wards them and they’ll go ‘hang on, is that a bloke, hang on its a bloke in a dress, hang on it’s got lippy on’, and in that moment of surprise – bang! We’ll hit them, job done,”

OIP Staff. 16-10-17 This article originally suggested Catherine McGregor had served in the army and navy. This was incorrect. McGregor has been in the army and air force. 

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