Appreciation & Commentary – Minister Gee’s Action to Secure Funding Increase

Minister, we commend your statement yesterday that your personal integrity is not up for compromise and that veterans sign up to put their lives on the line for our country, because they love their country and do so not for money”

Your comments go to the heart of the service of Army veterans sent by our Government to defend the airbase at Butterworth during the communist insurgency from 1970 to 1989. The veterans were there because of the Government’s decision to protect the RAAF at Air Base Butterworth as part of a shared defence plan with the Malaysian Armed Forces, where the intelligence assessments clearly identified the communist insurgents threat.

We hope that your personal integrity will extend to your decision regarding our RCB submission to you on the 18th October 2021which was supported by the Ethicos Report written by Howard Whitton a noted authority on governance probity and law making. Howard’s examination of the evidence (which included the then 210 declassified secret and 16 top-secret documents) related to the Government’s RCB decision (as peacetime service) and its unfair procedural process in handling our challenge, found integrity issues relating to potential breaches of the law, Ministerial Standards and the APS Code of Values. 

It is now almost six months since you received our submission and we have patiently waited for your decision.

Sadly, many of the veterans who served at Butterworth have passed on without the knowledge their service has been appropriately recognised. These veterans and those that survive are worthy of the love you referred to in your statement.

On behalf of the surviving veterans that served Australia in the defence of the airbase at Butterworth we ask that you apply your personal integrity and your ministerial authority to classify their service as warlike now. In doing so you will permit the veterans to march on Anzac Day knowing their service has been accorded the rightful recognition they deserve.


Ray Fulcher
RCB Service 1979
Chairman RCB Review Group
Date: 27 March 2022

Personal integrity is the quality of being truthful and honest with yourself and others, of intentionally aligning your personal behaviors and actions to be aligned with your own values, principles, and ethics.


  1. Well said Ray, keep up the good fight. MG

  2. Amazing Ray. Beautifully written truths. Thankyou from all of us. Me A Coy 1RAR AUGUST TO DECEMBER 1985.

  3. I truly believe in our actions and services we provided whilse protecting and securing Butterworth air base and the surrounding area and operations on Langkawi Island inwhick we came upon CT training camps abandoned,jungle patrol,s through dense scub,we also travelled to Pulada, trained with Malaysian soldiers who were on active duties 24/7.As a 18 year old in this time I never assumed the danger,s of our job it was a adventure with a great and respected peer,s and fellow soldier,s.My job in the section was the QRF driver of the section and proud of it,I,m now 63 years old I hope dearly for myself and my fellow soldiers who done this tour that we get recognition for our services to this great nation before I depart to the above.
    I would like to say a great gratitude and thanks for committed work on this IMPORTANT MATTER.
    Cheers Cleav

  4. This is a copy of the email sent to Minister Gee from Kevin Bovrill.
    Hello Andrew,

    Please accept my most sincere congratulations on your ethical and forthright stance on behalf of the nation’s Veteran and Defence community. With portfolio’s straddling both the ADF and DVA you would have been acutely aware of the issues arising from the failures of your predecessors to address and resolve the manyfold long-standing issues that have been festering away for decades. Their denial and wilful obfuscation by a cabal of senior bureaucrats and their political masters have only served to destroy what little trust and confidence the Veteran community had left in government.

    This neglect and malfeasance forced long and protracted delays upon the decision-making processes within your office and departments that ultimately served to undermine your credibility and that of government.

    Your principled action served to confirm that a duplicitous government had yet again relegated the Veteran and ADF community to somewhere south of “ bottom priority’ and that you as Minister would no longer accept the abuse that government sought to dump upon those for whose best interests you had sworn an oath to “well and truly serve.” An oath that perhaps the PM should take cognizance of. Even better, if the PM and his underlings were to heed the words of the departed Tony Abbott. “ Time to stop the bullshit.”

    You have proven your intellectual abilities, demonstrated your superior moral standards and ethics, now get on with the job of fixing the problems within your portfolios. (Please consider starting with reducing the currently unacceptable wait time for responses to relatively simple issues that the Veteran community has tried and consistently failed to have placed before you for a swift and decisive resolution.

    Please continue to bring honesty, transparency, accountability, and good governance to both your portfolios.

    Best of luck for your re-election and continued service as our Minister.

    Yours sincerely,

    Kevin Bovill
    Anzac Veteran

The Deception


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