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The following statement is remarkable:

“There is not a murmur of dissent, I said to that collective group of defence leaders that they needed to sell this message, they needed to get on board or get out,” he said. (ABC 2009)

Frankly, given that ultimatum, it would be indeed surprising were there any murmuring of dissent at all.  Still, to be fair, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a Defence Department in need of a submarine or twelve, and new pay system, must also be in want of reform*.  

I can understand the frustration of ministers and senior leaders trying to change a bureaucracy such as Defence.  Bureaucracies have inherently high levels of inertia: in a bureaucracy, constancy, certainty and sameness are prized qualities.  

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