The Australian government has fired back over a recent naval controversy, after a women’s dance performance at the commissioning of the HMAS Supply attracted criticism.
The dance group, consisting of seven women dancing and twerking in unison, performed their routine at the ship’s commissioning. Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie has voiced his displeasure in the wake of the incident, reminding people that the armed forces’ ‘core business’ is, and will always be, the ‘application of lethal violence’, and urged every faction to stay focused on its ‘mission clarity’.
Government figures have been vocal in their criticism following the event, with one MP referring to it as a ‘sh*tshow’.
Watch the performance below:
NEW: The Royal Australian Navy commissioned HMAS Supply in Sydney today, and uh….. organised this dance to celebrate pic.twitter.com/OvCYlhhGZG
— Alex Bruce-Smith (@alexbrucesmith) April 10, 2021
Hastie addressed the image of country’s defence forces in his latest – and strongly-worded – electorate newsletter.
‘Our military serves a vital role across Australian society, whether during pandemic, flood or fire. But the ADF’s core business will always be the application of lethal violence in the defence of our values, sovereignty and interests. We should never forget that,’ he said.
Hastie also stated that ‘mission clarity is vital in the profession of arms’, adding, ‘Without it, confusion grows — confusion about role, identity and purpose. And confusion is deadly on the battlefield, at sea or in an aerial dogfight.’
‘Mission focus is the foundation of victory. It keeps everyone driving towards a singular purpose,’ he added.
Morrison: “I think standards have failed and so I think obviously defence will look at these matters and make what changes they wish to in the future. I will leave that to them. It is disappointing that Australians were so misled on that issue.”
— Alex Bruce-Smith (@alexbrucesmith) April 15, 2021
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has since apologised for its ‘deceptive editing’, according to The Guardian. 101 Doll Squadron said they felt threatened after the footage aired.
They voiced their thoughts on the matter:
We are very disappointed at the ABC’s deceptive editing of their video piece which cut to guests and dignitaries who were not in attendance, and shot from angles which could not be seen by the audience.
The ABC said the footage ‘should not have been edited in that way and the ABC apologises to the Governor-General and the Chief of Navy, and to viewers, for this error’.
Liberal backbencher Phillip Thompson has said that under the direction of Hastie and the new defence minister Peter Dutton believes the ADF is ‘bringing back its core values’. He also believes the ADF has gone ‘too far to the left’ with its social agenda in recent years, citing the example of ‘death’ symbols being banned from uniform attire in 2018.
While the Australia Defence Association’s Neil James said he agreed with Hastie’s comments regarding the defence forces’ ‘core business’, he disagreed with Thompon’s opinion that the ADF was becoming too politically correct.
The ADF confirmed that the Governor-General and Chief of Navy were not present for the dance, having arrived after the performance. The debated entertainment, according to ABC, was an attempt to engage with the local community.