Formal comment by the Australia Defence Association: 2016-17
Executive Director, Australia Defence Association 1981-2003. PNG kiap, naval officer, credit union CEO, strategic policy and defence capability commentator, public-interest advocate, novelist
Media coverage concerning ADF personnel undergoing gender dysphoria treatment tends to adopt emotive, sensationalist and sometimes prurient themes. Only by noting the facts and context applying can we have commonsense discussion of any implications for the operational effectiveness of our defence force and for the medical care of the individuals concerned.
Why the Fall-of-Singapore occurred has enduring lessons for Australia's future strategic security. We ignore them at the cost of inflicting further inter-generational inequity on future Australians. Especially by increasing their strategic risk, reducing their contingency warning time and inflicting additional financial catch-up costs when they will least be able to afford them in both the time and expenditure available. We needlessly imperil them by not paying our fair share now of the long-term and sustained investment needed to ensure Australia's strategic security, liberty and sovereign freedom-of-action as a nation-state.
The ADF's institutional and practical non-partisanship must never be compromised for party-political expediency. The fact and public perception of our defence force's political neutrality must be preserved, and preserved consistently, for the enduring benefit of the whole Australian community. And at all times, not just during election campaigns. In summary, to keep the "gun out of our politics" our constitutional system - and its supporting conventions and practices - has necessarily evolved over centuries to ensure that "politics is kept out of the gun".