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Veteran soldier Ray Martin slams Scott Morrison for red carpet walk at RAAF army base in Williamtown

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‘I never saw one PM receive a red carpet in 40 years’: Veteran soldier lashes Scott Morrison for his lavish entrance during a visit to an army base

  • Veteran has slammed Prime Minister for walking on red carpet at army base
  • Scott Morrison visited RAAF Base in Williamtown north of Newcastle on Friday
  • Ex-soldier Ray Martin slammed the pic, claiming it ‘used’ Australian diggers

A veteran soldier has blasted Scott Morrison for walking on a red carpet flanked by a ‘guard’ of Royal Australian Air Force members while visiting an army base.

A photo showed the Prime Minister walking the carpet in front of an RAAF plane as he arrived at the base in Williamtown, north of Newcastle, on Friday. 

He was at the base to announce a $66million investment in regional airport runways. 

It’s understood the Prime Minister’s office didn’t organise the ceremonial welcome at the ADF base – but it didn’t stop the photo from sparking backlash on social media.   

An ex-veteran has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison for walking on a red carpet flanked by a ‘guard’ of airforce service people while visiting an army base (pictured).

Former Colonel Ray Martin said sharing the photo was ‘poor form’ and ‘used’ Australian diggers. 

‘In 40 years in the Australian Defence Force, with eight Prime Ministers during that time, never saw one receive a red carpet and an honour guard for an internal visit to a base. Until now. Did I miss one?,’ he claimed in a tweet.

‘Poor form. Diggers’ detest bullsh** and being used – by all sides.’ 

Townsville-based Mr Martin was a commanding officer of the 1st Battalion and The Royal Australian Regiment and now works in veteran suicide prevention for the Federal Department of Health. 

Mr Martin’s post drew outrage on Twitter, with one person questioning: ‘I wonder how my ADF friends struggling with PTSD view this use of servicemen and women.’

‘A real worry that Defence would even agree to do this let alone Morrison accepting it,’ added another. 

Others claimed the decision to roll out the red carpet would not have come from Mr Morrison.

‘This military base has form. His last visit he arrived to theme music from Top Gun (the movie). Pure theatre,’ one person wrote. 

Veteran Ray Martin (pictured) slammed the photo, which showed airforce members holding an Australian flag and the Royal Australian Air Force flag above the Prime Minister

Veteran Ray Martin (pictured) slammed the photo, which showed airforce members holding an Australian flag and the Royal Australian Air Force flag above the Prime Minister

Former serviceman Brendan Dwyer – who volunteers with advocacy group Veteran Clawback – wrote that he was posted to RAAF Fairburn in the mid to late 1990s and no Prime Minister was ever greeted with a carpet, flags or guard.

’34 Squadron would only have the PM met by a duty officer of a certain rank & maybe the Dep PM, on arrival. No other minister was given such treatment. Never carpet or flags or guard,’ he claimed. 

Mr Morrison was visiting the RAAF Base to announce a $66million investment in Newcastle Airport and other regional runways, which will be done alongside RAAF’s scheduled runway maintenance at the Williamtown base.

The Prime Minister said the upgrades to the runways would mean larger aircraft like Boeing 777s and Airbus 330s could land in Newcastle. 

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