Senator Pauline Hanson has grilled Defence Minister Marise Payne during question time over whether the Australian Defence Force should be paying for sex-change operations.
Senator Hanson questioned whether this was the best use of Defence spending considering the high number of returned servicemen struggling to get treatment for issues like post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal depression.
“When and why has it become the defence forces responsibility to fund twenty-seven ADF staff personnel Sex Change operations and treatment for gender dysphoria over the past 5 years at a cost of $1.05 million, including 15 breast enhancement procedures between 2012 and 2015 costing taxpayers $235,000?” Senator Hanson asked the Minister.
Senator Hanson followed up her first question by asking, “We have returned service personnel facing PTSD, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide, with many not getting the help they desperately need. $1 million would go a long way helping and saving their lives. Do you consider sex change and breast enhancement more important? If not what are you doing to address this?”
Senator Hanson finished by asking the Defence Minister, “Wouldn’t you agree sex change and breast enhancement is a personal choice and will not help in any way, defending or protecting our country. Will you not stop this ridiculousness and unnecessary cost to the taxpayers?”
In response to Senator Hanson’s question, Minister Payne defended the practice of Defence paying for sex change-operations and then suggested it was "invidious", that is discriminatory, for anyone to imply that gender dysphoria was in anyway different from other injuries or illnesses soldiers might face, such as PTSD, depression or even being wounded in combat.