Andrew Hastie digs in after army ‘orders’ him to take down uniform photos, by Nathan Hondros.
Andrew Hastie, the Federal Member for Canning in Western Australia, is defying “orders” from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to remove photos of himself in uniform from election campaigning material. Labor’s candidate for the seat of Brisbane, Pat O’Neill, was also instructed by the ADF to take down photographs of himself in uniform used in campaign advertisements on a billboard. Threatened with disciplinary action, Mr Hastie is standing firm and has told the ADF he won’t be changing any of his campaign material, and that he supported Mr O’Neill:
Before standing for parliament I had to resign from the Australian Defence Force in accordance with section 44 of the Australian constitution. I am no longer under ADF authority.
As a member of parliament, I answer only to the people of Canning. I know Pat O’Neill well, I served with him for several years in Darwin at the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.
We’ve come up through the same institutions, the Australian Defence Academy and the Royal Military College Duntroon. The Australian Defence Force reflects Australian society and so you have different voices within the military.
Pat and I have very different political world views and we’ve had many heated political discussions during our time in the military, but I think it says a lot of the strength of the ADF that it can produce two army officers that fall into different political camps, but who were happy to serve and fight alongside each other.