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Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Page: 8081

Senator PAYNE (New South WalesMinister for Defence) (12:45): Senator Xenophon, I think it is very fair to say that there are often subtle and nuanced differences between views occasionally presented by the chiefs of the various services and, from time to time, the CDF, and between themselves for that matter. But the most important thing is that currently the minister is able to receive that separate and discrete, as in separate unit, advice. That will certainly continue under these arrangements and with the adoption of this legislation. Ultimately, of course, it is the minister who directs the CDF—that is, if you like, the top layer on that process.

In relation to your question concerning the contestability aspects of the First Principles Review and progress in that regard, I met very early in the piece, after I was appointed, with the oversight committee of the first principles implementation team and was updated by them. I understand I am due to receive another update from the chair, Mr Peever, in fact this week. The committee under the leadership also of the VCDF is progressing very methodically through the implementation process of the First Principles Review. I am keeping a very close eye on that and am engaged in that briefing process in particular.