Standing up for Canberra

Minister Johnston: Where are the women?

Defence Minister David Johnston must explain why there are no women on the First Principles Review Team, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Gai Brodtmann said.

“It is simply unacceptable in 2014 for there to be no women on the review team,” Ms Brodtmann said.

“The First Principles Review Team announcement comes on the back of the Defence Minister announcing an all-male Expert Panel for the Defence White Paper.

“In Government, Labor committed to a target of 40% women on all Government boards. I see no reason why this team shouldn’t also reach that target.

“At a time when a female is commanding a Royal Australian Navy warship in the Middle East for the first time, it is extremely disappointing that the Defence Minister has ignored women when it comes to his hand-picked expert panel.

“Just last week at the Defence and Industry Conference, Defence Materiel Organisation CEO Warren King spoke about the need to improve diversity in DMO, and this includes ensuring there are women in positions of power and leadership at all levels.

“Inclusion and cultural change were also key themes in the speeches of the new and outgoing Chiefs of the Defence Force, and the new and outgoing Chiefs of Navy at their recent changes of command.

“The First Principles Review is set to have a significant influence over the future of Defence – its men and women. So why has the Government excluded women from this process?”