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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 17

(Question No. 1414)


Senator Hamer asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 8 October 1986:

(1) Were senior departmental public servants to be regarded as having equivalent military rank on the establishment of a single Department of Defence.

(2) Were these equivalent military ranks as follows: Assistant Secretaries-one star (i.e. Brigadier); First Assistant Secretaries-two star (i.e. Major-General); Deputy Secretaries-three star (i.e. Lieutenant-General).

(3) On what basis were these relativities established.

(4) (a) How many ``three star'' Defence Department public servants are there now; (b) how many were there ten years ago; (c) how many serving ``three star'' professional service officers are there; (d) how many were there ten years ago.


Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The question of relativities between military ranks and public service classifications was addressed following the establishment of a single Department of Defence. The conclusion was reached that it is neither possible nor desirable to set fixed inflexible relativities between military ranks and public service classifications. It was also determined that the status of a position (be it military or civilian) and the authority of its occupant, derive primarily from its place in the organisational framework and not from the rank or classification of its occupant.

(2) Not applicable (refer to answer above).

(3) Not applicable.

(4) (a) See above. There are three Deputy Secretaries now in the Defence Department and seven other officers at SES level 5 or 6 who are responsible for particular parts of the organisation-Chief of Capital Procurement, Chief of Defence Production, Chief Defence Scientist, Director Defence Signals Division, Director Joint Intelligence Organisation and Deputy Chief Defence Scientist.

(b) Ten years ago there were three Deputy Secretaries in the Department and three other officers at SES level 5 or 6-Chief Defence Scientist, Chief of Supply and Support and Deputy Chief Defence Scientist.

Note: The increase in numbers over the ten year period has resulted from the integration of the former Department of Defence Support in 1984 and the upgrading in 1986 of the two positions heading the intelligence agencies following the Hope Royal Commission on Australia's Security and Intelligence Agencies.

(c) There are currently four serving ``three star'' officers, namely:

The Chief of Naval Staff.

The Chief of the General Staff.

The Chief of the Air Staff.

Vice Chief of the Defence Force.

Note: The position of Vice Chief of the Defence Force was introduced in 1986 to strengthen the Headquarters Australian Defence Force organisation particularly in the area of Defence capability and force structure planning.

(d) Ten years ago there were three serving ``three star'' officers, namely:

The Chief of Naval Staff.

The Chief of the General Staff.

The Chief of the Air Staff.