Former Aussie PM floats compulsory national military service

Tony Abbott proposes military conscription as world powers bolster ranks

Former Aussie PM floats compulsory national military service
Former PM Tony Abbott / ABC
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Australian young people should serve a period of compulsory national service, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this week.

He said there was an argument that national service was desirable in an increasingly militarised world.

"It's about giving as well as receiving and I think we do have to talk more about what we can give back to our country,” he told the Institute of Public Affairs’ Heartland podcast.

The former Liberal leader said national service should be for a "significant time", of at least six to 12 months.

"There are all sorts of things people could do," he said, including "putting on a uniform and becoming a basically-trained infantry solider”.

Abbott said that as well as serving in the military, teenagers could spend time working in an indigenous community, work in nursing homes or deploy as an Australian Peace Corps to the South Pacific.

Military conscription was abolished in Australia in 1972 but there are around 85 countries where it continues in some form, according to the UK Forces site.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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