Compulsory Reserve Call Out to become voluntary

Release details

Release type

Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for Defence

Media contacts

Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, (02) 6277 7744

Minister Reynolds’ office: Lauren Gianoli, 0428 570 417

Defence Media: (02) 6127 1999

Release content

23 January 2020

Joint Media Release

Prime Minister - The Hon Scott Morrison MP

The Government will request the Governor-General revoke the current compulsory Call Out of the Australian Defence Force Reserves with effect from 7 February 2020.

As the immediate, wide-scale emergency threat has eased, Australian Defence Force (ADF) support is moving from assisting to save life and property, to relief and recovery operations.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the ADF would continue to provide support where it’s needed most, for as long as it’s needed, with its full-time forces and volunteer Reserve personnel.

"It’s now time to allow ADF Reserve personnel who were part of the compulsory Call Out to return to their jobs, families, communities and personal commitments if they wish," the Prime Minister said.

"Before any draw-down of the compulsory Call-Out commences, conditions will need to be met which includes ensuring there is no immediate threat to life, and that basic, essential services have been restored.

"The Australian Defence Force will continue to provide extensive support to the bushfire recovery, and dedicated elements of the full-time force will stand ready should an emergency response be required again this bushfire season."

Almost 6,500 full time and Reserve personnel have been providing direct support in the field, at sea, in the air, and from Defence bases as part of Operation Bushfire Assist.

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Reservists would continue to serve under Operation Bushfire Assist, on a voluntary Call For basis.

"I am so proud of the service our ADF Reserve members have provided as part of this response," Minister Reynolds said.

"I also acknowledge and thank their families and employers for their understanding and terrific support that has made this response possible.

"I thank our international partners who have stood in solidarity with Australia in our time of need, and supported our ADF response in bushfire affected communities."

Detailed planning to recalibrate ADF support to the bushfire recovery is ongoing, in consultation with local and state emergency services and local communities.

Defence and other Commonwealth agencies will continue to work closely with the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.


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