Cafe shop gossip session is one of 60 security breaches by ADF

Bryan Seymour

There have been 60 serious security breaches across the Australian Defence Force, including three-dimensional maps of secure Australian army bases being sent to overseas suppliers in unsecure emails.

Documents, obtained by 7 News, found inappropriate access was given to staff, sensitive defence details were discussed at a coffee shop and casual employees being given secure logins and passwords without clearance in some of the more serious breaches.

“It does look like we’ve got some systemic failures that need to be fixed up on a total level; this is not just the odd breach,” Deakin University professor Greg Barton said.

New documents reveal 60 security breaches at ADF bases across the country. Source: 7News

The Freedom of Information documents show “significant systemic failure exists” in protecting the information, leading to serious lapses at ADF facilities.

The documents showed a total 60 security breaches at bases and facilities across the country with 13 of those in NSW, 10 in Queensland and the Northern Territory and 5 in Victoria.

The investigation found there was a “systemic practice” at Australia’s largest naval establishment, HMAS Albatross at Nowra in New South Wales where inappropriate access was being provided to staff.

At Australia’s largest airforce base, RAAF Amberley near Brisbane, casual employees were given secure logins and passwords without clearance.

An Australian airforce base. Source: 7News

Staff also reported instances of photos being taken at secure bases.

Mr Barton said the documents show “things aren’t good” with the way security is being managed at ADF bases.

Defence Minister Marise Payne issued a statement in response to the documents from her trip to Japan.

Ms Payne said her department is taking the security concerns very seriously and is reviewing the recommendations made by security experts.