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"We Are Hiring Mercenaries"
Australia pays $200,000 bonuses  to lure foreign soldiers

By Herald Sun

June 08, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- 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 more Australians.

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 move.

War graves advocate John Saddington questioned the loyalties of foreign recruits.

"It's an absolute disgrace," he said. "We are hiring mercenaries."

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.

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