Women are joining the Australian Defence Force (ADF) not to fight for their country but to get free face-lifts, tummy tucks and even breast enlargements, the opposition Labor Party said Sunday.
Labor defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said cosmetic surgery on the public purse showed a government out of touch with community values.
"On the face of it, taxpayer-funded breast enhancement is a questionable practice," Fitzgibbon said.
ADF spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic defended the spending, saying that cosmetic surgery was allowed for psychological reasons.
"The suggestion that taxpayers are funding breast operations for defence personnel to look sexy is not only wrong but insulting to the dedicated people who serve in our defence force," Nikolic said.
The ADF admission followed a revelation earlier this year by leading cosmetic surgeon Pamela Noon that soldiers were coming in for taxpayer-funded operations at the rate of one a month.
"A couple of girls were in having breast augmentation, I've had a face-lift, a couple of nose jobs and I think one breast reduction and one tummy tuck," Noon said.
Despite earning her living from cosmetic surgery for the past 25 years, Noon said she was unhappy that the taxpayer was paying for boob jobs.
"Certainly it makes people feel better about themselves, and we all work on the concept that if we feel good about ourselves we perform better in every way, (but) I can't see how that would help our Defence Force, how that would help them defend our country."