PM’s ‘military props’ called out on social media

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's national security announcement has been somewhat overshadowed by social media interest in his choice of 'props'.

The Prime Minister has announced major changes to give the military more powers to intervene in domestic terrorist attacks, including embedding defence personnel.

Police will still remain the primary responders to these kinds of attacks.

Special Forces Soldiers will be training state and territory police forces to equip them with more skills to do so. 

Mr Turnbull held the live conference at Sydney’s Holsworthy Barracks and could be seen standing with several Special Operations soldiers wearing full camouflage gear and holding guns.

One soldier was even wearing a gas mask.

"Our enemies are agile and innovative. We have to stay ahead of them," Mr Turnbull said, explaining the new measures.

"We want to make sure every asset we have that is designed to keep Australians safe is brought to bear to do so when it is needed." 

Another soldier stands holding a gun on top of an inflatable vehicle.

Special Operations Command Soldiers
Special Operations Command soldiers stand in the background while PM, Malcolm Turnbull announces changes to national security in live conference.

Twitter users were quick to point out the background imagery, labelling it ‘weird’ and a ‘joke’.  

Screenshots of the speech have been shared on social media along with images of Turnbull with the masked soldier standing behind him.






The oposition's defence spokesman Richard Marles wondered if the staging and use of props had been taken too far.

"As public officials in this space, we must ensure that we never politicise the ADF. And I think that the Australian people can well see a prop when it is presented. They can sniff it from a mile away. And they will judge people accordingly," Mr Marles told the ABC.

"And it is for all of us in this space to use our judgment appropriately to make sure that we are doing this in a way that is respectful to the ADF."

The Pime Minister's office has been contacted for comment.

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