Claims that members of the Australian Defense Force have visited plastic surgeons to have their looks improved at the taxpayers’ expense have resulted in Defense Minister Brendan Nelson calling for an immediate investigation.

A source within the military pointed out that personnel can undergo plastic surgery at government expense as long as the procedures are for medical or psychological reasons that threatened their ability to work.

“We have carried out breast enlargements, nose jobs, and face lifts on six military personnel in the past year,” says aesthetic surgery consultant Pamela Noon, who is based at a tourist resort on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

But she is puzzled about how the work could improve a soldier’s efficiency.

“While a feature might affect somebody’s self-confidence, I can’t see how it would help their ability to protect the country.”

Nelson, whose investigation into the claims is expected to take several weeks, says he is very proud of the men and women who serve in the Australian Defense Force.

“I believe we should do everything we can within reason to cater for their reasonable needs.”

[www.dailymail.co.uk, August 25, 2006]