Senior Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) bureaucrat Julie Delforce, who is also the mother of a renowned animal rights activist, has resigned following an investigation into her links to the Aussie Farms website.
- Dr Julie Delforce has resigned from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
- The mother of Aussie Farms founder Chris Delforce was stood down last November pending an external investigation into possible links with activist websites
- The investigation found Dr Delforce had not reported her connections to Aussie Farms in accordance with departmental requirements
A department spokesperson confirmed Dr Delforce’s resignation in a statement to the ABC this afternoon, saying she was sanctioned following the external investigation.
Dr Delforce was a senior sector specialist in DFAT’s Agricultural Development and Food Security section.
She is the mother of Chris Delforce who founded the Aussie Farms website, which published the addresses of thousands of Australian farms and abattoirs, and led the Federal Government to change farm trespass laws.
Dr Delforce’s resignation follows an investigation into her connections with Aussie Farms and “other activist” websites by Clayton Utz.
The investigation was launched last November and concluded in February.
The statement provided today by DFAT said that investigation findings had since been “considered by two external decision makers in other government agencies”.
“This was in accordance with the Australian Public Service Commission’s guidelines for investigations into allegations of breaches of the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct,” the statement said.
“This process found Dr Delforce had not reported her connections to Aussie Farms in accordance with departmental requirements.
“The department sanctioned Dr Delforce in line with the decisions of the external decision makers.
“Subsequently, Dr Delforce resigned from the department.”
Dr Delforce was stood down last November pending the finding of the Clayton Utz investigation.
Domain names ‘registered without parents’ knowledge’
Following news of Dr Delforce’s departure from DFAT, Chris Delforce said his mother had not known that he had registered websites to his parents’ ABN several years ago.
“After more than 20 years of service to the Australian aid program, my mother has decided the time has come to retire,” Mr Delforce told the ABC.
“Any suggestion that she therefore had any ownership or control over, or input of any kind into my websites, is completely false, and it’s frankly disgusting that the animal agriculture industry unashamedly attempted to antagonise me by targeting my family.”
Mr Delforce said he hoped any anger or frustration regarding his work would be directed at him and that Dr Delforce’s privacy should be respected.