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Public servants speaking publicly: the Bennett case

Public service Australia

What should a public servant be able to say publicly about government matters? In August 2001, both civilian and military arms of Defence issued new instructions severely restricting staff contact with the media. Even tighter restrictions were imposed on Operation Relex, which interdicted people-smuggling operations on Australia's northern borders. Concern was expressed at the time that the new restrictions were not appropriate in a liberal democracy. They were relaxed in February 2002, to the apparent relief of some within the defence forces, as well as more broadly.


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