"We Are Hiring Mercenaries"
Australia pays $200,000 bonuses to lure foreign soldiers
By Herald Sun
-- Australia is boosting its military ranks with foreign
soldiers by offering cash bonuses of up to AU$200,000
(US$198,060) and fast-tracked citizenship.
Veterans have hit out at hiring "mercenaries" from countries
such as America, Germany and Singapore instead of recruiting
Figures obtained by the Herald Sun show 726 international
military personnel have come to Australia since 2006.
It is believed to have cost about AU$100 million to help them
War graves advocate John Saddington questioned the loyalties of
"It's an absolute disgrace," he said. "We are hiring
Recruits are coming from America, Britain, New Zealand, Canada,
South Africa, Italy, Singapore, Poland, Greece and Germany.
A Defence Department spokesman said, "The Australian Defence
Force contributes to the cost of relocating lateral recruits.
The costs vary according to the family composition and size, but
is typically between AU$150,000 to AU$200,000. Given the
significant cost of training and building experience in new
military recruits, this cost represents good value."
In other incentives, recruits are also having their Australian
citizenship fast-tracked after just three months of service.