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ADSO Media Release: Reinstate ASIO and ASIS Director Generals to Permanent Membership of Australia’s National Security Committee

The Australian Government’s primary responsibility is to keep our nation safe from those who seek to do us harm, both internally and externally.


The Government’s decision to exclude permanent members Mike Burgess the current Director-General of Security in charge of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) and Kerri Hartland the Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) from the National Security Committee (NSC) is a curious and dangerous decision.


To remove from the National Security Committee’s membership both the ASIO Director General responsible for internal threats and the ASIS Director General responsible for external threats in these increasingly risky and complex times is tantamount to perilous.


Both Directors Generals and their Departmental staff are safety and security experts. Their permanent presence in the National Security Committee allows them to advise its members at all times on national security matters that affect national decisions.


To have them on call for specific agenda items only, removes them from their expert advice to provide insights and allow the Committee to make informed decisions on other Agenda items that may be raised and discussed by members who may not have the highest level of security clearance and threat knowledge.


The optic of this decision to the nation is bad. It requires a public explanation from the Prime Minister.


It is our ADF Family’s remit to comment on national security matters. For those currently serving in the ADF and those who have served and fought for our nation’s security, we have every right to express our concerns in those matters.  From operational experience we know the importance of threat intelligence to successful responses.


ADSO urges the Government to rescind its decision and return both ASIO and ASIS Director Generals to permanent membership of its National Security Committee.


Michael von Berg MC OAM

Chairperson ADSO

Mobile: 0411 870 055





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