Biological women who identify as women need not fear their anti-discrimination protections will be stripped. Defence issued a new statement walking ba
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home News Defence restricts political association of public servants
Text size :
TAGS Department of Defence, Australian Defence Force, APS Code of Conduct, APS Values
Defence Department civilians are now restricted from associating with certain offensive political groups — a tougher line than for colleagues in other federal departments.
Should Department of Defence public servants have greater restrictions on their private associations or political views than other public servants?
Defence secretary Dennis Richardson evidently thinks so, signing a joint directive with the chief of the defence force Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin forbidding civilian employees from privately associating with political groups that hold a broad scale of offensive views, ranging from extremist and violent to bigoted and discriminatory on any basis.
Not since the Communist Party of Australia was briefly banned by the Menzies government in 1951 has there been such a restriction on private activities of a major line department’s employees.
The joint-directive — “Association with unlawful or inappropriate groups by Defence personnel” — was signed September 10, 2014, just two days before the public warning of a potential terrorist attack by then Australian Security Intelligence Organisation chief David Irvine.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Harley Dennett is editor at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's held communications roles in the New South Wales public sector and Defence, and been a staff reporter for newspapers in Sydney and Washington DC.
Read Related Content
Presume some environmental groups that have protested a little too hard might be on the list.