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Monday, 30 November 2015
Page: 14073


Mr BROUGH (FisherMinister for Defence Materiel and Science and Special Minister of State) (15:13): I would like to thank the honourable members for supporting this very important piece of legislation for our defence forces. This bill amends the Defence Act to formally recognise the authority of the CDF, the Chief of the Defence Force, and the VCDF so that the CDF will have full command of the Australian Defence Force by removing the legislative limitations on the CDF command power. The VCDF will be recognised as the deputy of the Chief of the Defence Force. This amendment will clarify that the VCDF has command responsibilities as well as administrative responsibilities in relation to the Defence Force as directed by the CDF. Also, the service chiefs of the Army, Navy and Air Force will be explicitly subject to the direction of the CDF. The legislation amendment removing the statutory authority will ensure absolute clarity of the CDF's command and authority.

This bill seeks to make some other changes to streamline the legislative foundation of the Australian Defence Force. In addition to strengthening the command role of the CDF and the VCDF, the bill also streamlines the statutory treatment of the components of the Australian Defence Force in the defence legislation, repealing the Naval Defence Act 1910 and the Air Force Act 1923, incorporating the substantive provisions of these acts in the Defence Act 1903. I thank all those members who participated in the debate and I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.