Round Table discussion on Thursday, May 7, 2009 by Australian Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, and Secretary of Defence Nick Warner:
ANGUS HOUSTON: Okay. Well first of all, good morning and welcome to Defence headquarters. I'm delighted that we have this opportunity to be with you this morning. All of you would have read a lot about the white paper. You've probably seen the presentation the Prime Minister last weekend, the presentation I made, and I don't intend to go back over all that ground. I think probably the best thing is for you to question me about where you want to go.
Suffice it to say, though, that I'm absolutely delighted with the white paper outcome. The decisions the Government has made are absolutely on the money as far as I'm concerned and obviously we had a substantial input into the whole white paper process and the outcome is very, very pleasing
It positions us very well for an uncertain future. We'll have a joint adaptable force that we'll be able to swing from high-end operations, should they be necessary, into the sort of operations that we've seen in the neighbourhood in recent times. The sort of disaster relief, stability and security operations that have been a feature of the environment in the South Pacific and East Timor.
So that's it. I'd like you to all relax. I'll certainly be relaxed despite the fact that I've got this thing on and we'll be prepared to take any questions that you want to raise at this time.
I'm happy to go outside of the scope of the white paper, very happy to talk about Afghanistan, very happy to talk about any other areas that you might want to raise with me. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full transcript, on the Australian DoD website.