Subscriber • Opinion

Public Sector Informant: War memorial volunteers should be free to speak their minds

By Paddy Gourley
Updated September 1 2020 - 9:52pm, first published 12:00am
The Australian War Memorial. Picture: Karleen Minney
The Australian War Memorial. Picture: Karleen Minney

In his splendid history of Australia during the 1940s, Stuart MacIntyre notes that public comments by the public servant Dr H.C. Coombs were sometimes controversial. He was accused of "pushing the government line" and the opposition leader, Robert Menzies, asked if Dr Coombs was still regarded as a public servant and who was paying his salary. It didn't do him a lot of harm as he subsequently became governor of the Reserve Bank and he now is able posthumously to enjoy one of the grandest of compliments - having a Canberra suburb named after him. Let's all pray that at least within the next 100 years there can be a Pezzullo Precinct, "gated" of course, in a far-flung corner of the national capital and composed of government habitations reserved for personages with well-intended obsessions about "national security".