The federal government's top public servant looked to hose down discussion of gender neutral toilets in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Emails released under Freedom of Information show PM&C secretary Phil Gaetjens looked to have the signs removed, albeit in a respectful way, after political reporter Chris Uhlmann revealed through social media signs purportedly encouraging gender-neutral use of the toilets of the department's Canberra offices.
In an email responding to staff on the matter, Mr Gaetjens wrote it "may have been better to add some context rather than just focus on the singular issue of signs coming down".
"So if there is any follow up I would add that there was no change to the department's policy (which recognised best accommodation for gender identity but did not mention signs) and that the LGBTI+ community was consulted before signs were removed (eg: a respectful process was undertaken)," he wrote.
"In no way should this be expressed defensively. If there is no follow-up, let's not prolong media commentary."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August weighed in on the signs on 2GB radio, saying he had no concerns about the signs but believed they were ridiculous and unnecessary.
"It'll be sorted out. I've had a chat to the incoming secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet," he said.
Mr Morrison was asked if he had any concerns about the signs and said he believed they were unnecessary.
"I think people can work out which room to use," he said.
"I just don't think it's necessary, it's over the top, political correctness, over the top."
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet promotes its inclusion and diversity policies to prospective employees and is a member of the Diversity Council of Australia, the Australian Network on Disability and Pride in Diversity.