Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 4 2009 Contents 12
ustralia’s current and future
capability depends on the
successful and complete
implementation of the White
Paper’s strategic reform
The Program will deliver around $20 billion
in savings during the next 10 years that will be
reinvested into equipping and sustaining the ADF
Put simply, without the Strategic Reform
Program savings, we will not be able to deliver the
White Paper and the capability that’s required to
defend Australia and its national interests in the
next 20 years.
Through its 15 streams, the Program
will change Defence at its core, middle and
outer edges; and in the process, deliver very
But the savings won’t be delivered in the
old-fashioned way, by simply slicing and dicing
The savings will be delivered sustainably,
through cost cutting and significant changes to the
way we do business. Changes that mean in about
five years time Defence’s processes, systems,
technologies and approaches to work will look very
different from the way they do today.
They will be consolidated, integrated,
standardised, modernised, automated and
wherever possible, world’s best practice – like our
For the past 18 months I’ve talked about
the need to fix Defence’s broken backbone – its
logistics, explosive ordnance and inventory
management, its information communications
technology and its systems and processes. These
are the vitally-important but less visible parts of
the business, that if not fixed, have the potential to
compromise the organisation’s future.
Through its 15 streams, the Strategic Reform
Program will do that – and much more.
The smart sustainment reform stream will
deliver $5.1 billion in savings during the next
decade by increasing the efficiency of Defence’s
maintenance and supply chain processes and
reducing inventory costs and holdings.
The maintenance element of this reform
stream will realise the Defence Materiel
Organisation’s aim to become more business-like.
It’s been the vision of the Kinnaird and Mortimer
reviews, and the Strategic Reform Program will
deliver it by imposing commercial discipline on
procurement and sustainment processes and
introducing more efficient maintenance techniques.
The reform will be undertaken in a planned
and structured way during the next five years. All
major fleets of military equipment across the three
Services will be carefully scrutinised to identify
possible efficiencies in the way they are operated,
supported and maintained.
And here I want to make it clear that the
reform to this stream will not compromise
capability, safety or quality to save costs.
The reform is about delivering improved
capability by getting rid of the costs of inefficiency
This is a major initiative that will involve
Navy, Army, Air Force and the Defence Materiel
Organisation working closely together in a
collaborative, constructive and consultative way.
We’ll also work closely with industry.
The inventory element of the smart
sustainment steam will deliver $700 million in
savings in the next decade by smarter buying,
reducing the size of our holdings – which currently
have an enormous impact on warehousing costs –
and getting rid of waste.
The Strategic Reform Program gives Defence
a unique opportunity to significantly improve the
efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation in
a deep, strategic and holistic way.
It gives us the chance to create a future for
Defence that is fundamentally different, in some
parts unrecognisable, and so much better for it.
CHIeF oF tHe DeFenCe FoRCe’s CoLuMn
s the chief of the Defence Force,
you have heard me say time
and time again that nothing
is more important to me than
the health and well-being of
the men and women of the
australian Defence Force.
Our work can be dangerous and demanding and
our service can come at a price. A very large aspect
of our duty of care to Defence people is centred
on mental health management. It is impossible to
escape the fact that on many of our operational
deployments, our people are exposed to conditions
that may lead to psychological trauma.
Great work has been done on our Mental Health
Strategy since it was launched in 2002. We have
instituted programs aimed at promoting good mental
health and preventing illness wherever possible.
However, in Defence we are always looking
to improve and for some time I have been
concerned about whether we have adequate
staffing and resources for mental health support,
the possible impact of extended military
deployments on the mental health of our people,
and the willingness of our members to seek
treatment for mental health conditions.
For these reasons, I welcomed the
Government’s decision to commission Professor
David Dunt to conduct an independent review
of mental health care in the ADF. In undertaking
this review, Professor Dunt compared our current
ADF mental health support services against best
industry practice. His analysis also included the
transition process from Defence to the Department
of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the extent to which
mental health services are meeting the needs of
serving and transitioning ADF members.
Professor Dunt completed his report in February
this year and it was officially launched in May.
In reading the report, I was pleased to note that
Professor Dunt considered the introduction of the ADF
Mental Health Strategy in 2002 to be far-sighted.
I was also pleased that Professor Dunt found that
our mental health strategy compared favourably
with similar strategies in Australian workplaces and
other military forces. In fact, in some instances, we
surpassed other available programs.
Nevertheless, Professor Dunt did find that
there were areas in which we could do better and
he has offered a range of recommendations to
reform and enhance the delivery of ADF mental
health care and the transition services currently
offered by Defence and DVA.
Professor Dunt’s recommendations include:
expanding resilience training and mental health
education; improved access for Reservists to post-
deployment support; and a review of policy and
guidelines for ADF medical employment classifications
to better manage deployments. He also seeks the
continued military service of those with mental health
illness; the further expansion of rehabilitation; and
return to work programs and enhanced transition
services for members leaving Defence.
Defence agreed in full to 49 of his 52
recommendations and we agreed in part with the
We must now implement these
recommendations. I have directed Joint Health
Command to work with the single Service and non-
Service groups to develop a comprehensive plan to
achieve 10 major goals. Further details about these
goals can be found on the Defweb.
I want all Defence people to be seized with
the importance of this initiative. Mental health is
a vital component of the ongoing health and well-
being of ADF men and women. I thank Professor
Dunt for his significant efforts in producing this
important review. I am confident that his review
will lead to an improved mental health support
system for our people.
the mental health
of our people
Reform vital to
aBoVe: (l-r) The chief of the Defence Force, air chief marshal angus houston, ac, aFc, the
former minister for Defence science and Personnel, the hon. Warren snowdon mP, Professor
David Dunt, the minister for Veterans’ affairs, the hon. alan griffin mP and the commander Joint
health, major general Paul alexander officially releasing Professor David Dunt’s report into
‘mental health care in the aDF and Transition to Discharge’.
The savings will be delivered sustainably, through
cost cutting and significant changes to the way
we do business. Changes that mean in about
five years time Defence’s processes, systems,
technologies and approaches to work will look
very different from the way they do today.
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