Defence Minister Richard Marles overturns Dutton’s ban on morning teas

Defence Minister Richard Marles has overturn the morning tea ban introduced by his predecessor Peter Dutton.

Dutton introduced the ban in 2021 after he discovered defence personnel had marked International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.

“I’ve been very clear to the chiefs that I will not tolerate discrimination. But we are not pursuing a woke agenda,” Dutton told The Age when he implemented his ban. “Our task is to build up the morale in the Australian Defence Force and these woke agendas don’t help.”

The ban applied to both uniformed personnel and civilian staffers, and drew a wide range of criticism.

Union leader Brooke Muscat dubbed Dutton the “Minister for Culture Wars” after he made his announcement.

“If having a morning tea for reconciliation week, international women’s day or international day against homophobia is stopping our national security efforts, then we have a real problem,” the Community and Public Sector Union deputy national president, Brooke Muscat said speaking to The Guardian.

In a message to staff the new Defence Minister outlined that he had a different view.

“Each year we recognise events of significance and importance. Many of these events contribute to our inclusive culture by acknowledging and promoting awareness of our diverse workforce.

“Last year a direction was issued in the DEFGRAM 2021/2021 regarding how events of significance be conducted, including those activities which should cease. The Deputy Prime Minister has instructed that this direction be lifted, with effect 23 August 2022,” the email to the staff read.

Friday’s Wear It Purple Day and R U Okay Day, which is later this month, are two of the events that staff will now be allowed to observe.

OIP Staff

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