Defence Force chiefs have warned that attempts by mining and gas companies to poach skilled workers could harm Australia's ability to defend itself.
The Australian reports Chief of Navy Ray Griggs told a parliamentary committee resources companies had “raided” the Defence Force to find new workers.
Griggs also said he had met with mining, oil, and gas bosses in Western Australia over the issue.
“My point was to say to them, I'm not saying don't poach because that's a silly thing to say to a corporation and our people can leave if they wish, but I wanted them to understand what the impact was,” he said.
“We are down to literally a couple of dozen at the lieutenant commander engineering level and if I lose four or five of those in a rush we have some very, very serious issues.”
Skilled workers in the Defence Force have long been a target for the resources industry, and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has previously outlined a plan to recruit former war veterans from the United States.
Last year army boss General David Hurley said the ADF needed to change its attitudes to compete with the mining industry.