Chief of Navy travel challenge
6 December 2011
The articles in The Australian on 5 and 6 December are misleading and misrepresent a recent travel challenge message I issued Navy wide. The articles quote selectively from my message and attempt to paint the picture that I have lashed out at Navy people. Any objective reading of the full message would reveal this is not the case.
The Navy and the Australian Defence Force are living in challenging times. A significant challenge is the Strategic Reform Program which sees Defence reducing its costs by $20 billion over ten years so that this money can be reinvested back into new capability for the Australian Defence Force. Part of that program is approximately $1 billion allocated to travel reform across Defence.
As part of Navy’s cultural reform program we have ten signature behaviours aimed at providing the guideposts for our cultural change journey. One of those is to challenge and innovate, another is cost consciousness. I am using an ongoing program of challenges to focus Navy on reform. This message is one of these. My message is a simple one – don’t travel unless there is a real need to do so. If you need to travel maximise the use of military accommodation if available and claim back only what you spend. Most Navy people have no issue with this concept of what I call a no win no loss approach on travel. It should not cost Navy people money to travel on business but nor should we make money from it.
Cultural change is hard and if it is real it will confront some people. What I am doing is engaging all of Navy as the educated and sophisticated workforce that it is. This message challenges Navy people not orders them. The strategic reform program is all about reform generating efficiencies to ensure we have the right equipment so that our people can do their job in the best way possible.
A full copy of my travel challenge message is available at www.navy.gov.au.