Have you ever wondered where the secretary of your department lands on the soft shell versus hard shell taco debate? Well, public servants in the Department of Health and Aged Care don't have to. In weekly video updates since he took the top job in June, Blair Comley has been wont to launch into long tangents about his passion for cooking. In a video message on August 3, obtained by Public Eye in a freedom-of-information request, Mr Comley forecast that he would update staff on two serious issues and "one [which] might be serious, depending on your perspective". He then spent two minutes updating staff on a visit to a stakeholder and a meeting with the corporate and financial services branch, before turning to the pressing matter. "In those sessions, I always say at the start, you can ask me any question you want," Mr Comley said. "I was a little surprised that one of the questions was: 'can we have a department taco Tuesday?'" Thus began a minute-long spiel - actually, a minute and 20 seconds - extolling the many virtues of the humble taco. And yes, we will be transcribing (almost) every word of it for you. "I'm not sure that I can mandate that everyone has tacos on a Tuesday or that there's some collective cooking," Mr Comley said, addressing the elephant in the room - that tacos on the public dime would be a bit dicey. "But I did observe that myself and my family are keen cooks, and we found tacos, particularly through the pandemic, particularly good," he continued. "And why was that? Well we have a range of dietary requirements in the household, and you can do tacos in a way that everyone can choose." No detail was spared: "You can have the red kidney bean and corn with salsa mix if you're a vegetarian, you can avoid the cheese if you're lactose intolerant. "And if you're like me and a bit of a carnivore, you can grill some chicken, slice it up, and have a more fajita style approach." Public Eye would note that a cauliflower taco also goes down well as a vegetarian option. "One thing I would recommend for everyone - I don't think it cuts across any dietary preference - is I love just to chargrill some capsicum, cut it up, which augments any taco." Shedding the shackles of public sector risk aversion, the secretary then took a frank and fearless stance against hard shell tacos. "Finally hard shell taco: bad idea. I don't endorse those at all." He concluded: "So there'll be no departmental taco Tuesday, but I do endorse them both on a weeknight and - if you [spruce] it up with some extra sides - on a weekend." In another message, Mr Comley aired his views on the correct recipe for Yorkshire pudding. In one, released days after the Voice to Parliament referendum, he spent the greater part of three minutes detailing a chickpea recipe, and his tips for barbecuing. Health Minister Mark Butler even made a guest appearance in one - released August 17 - as the duo prepared to jet off to a G20 meeting in India. Mr Butler tells the secretary he was a "long-time listener, first-time caller" - sure, Minister - and revealed that he's a vegetarian who would be looking forward to some dal on the plane. READ MORE: In another, filmed after his return from the G20 meeting, Mr Comley referenced a purple scarf draped around his shoulders: "It hasn't been valued yet so I'm not sure if I'm keeping it, but that will be going through the usual probity channels," he told staff. "And it hasn't been fully screened for electronic devices so I don't know whether someone in the Indian intelligence service is currently getting a copy of the Team Health message." And what a message they would be intercepting. While Public Eye was rather entertained by the secretary's lengthy musings on tacos, Yorkshire pudding and barbecuing, they also give insight into the kind of culture the relatively new health boss wants to set from the top. His soliloquies are deadpan, and appear at least partially unscripted. (Public Eye did glimpse the reflection of words on a screen in his glasses in some videos). Seemingly unafraid of ridicule - or perhaps just very confident - Mr Comley has postured himself as a boss who wants to be personable, and accessible to staff in his department. It is a clear break from the rigid hierarchical structures of the APS. (Imagine Greg Moriarty, or even Gordon de Brouwer delivering these messages.) The vlog-style updates are also peppered with insights into what a secretary actually does all week, including mentions of stakeholder meetings and visits to see the minister. Be sure to like and subscribe for more. Defence Minister Richard Marles has confirmed that Kathryn Campbell's specially created AUKUS role won't be filled because the taskforce she was working on has become (*checks notes*) "a very different paradigm now going forward". The government's most senior bureaucrats had worked to parachute Ms Campbell into her $900,000 AUKUS advisory role in 2022 - a role which saw her being paid nearly $250,000 more than her boss. She was suspended, and later quit, after being adversely named in the robodebt royal commission report. ACM's chief political correspondent Karen Barlow recently sat down with the Defence Minister, and asked him to confirm that Ms Campbell's vacated position wasn't being filled. "Well, I mean, there was an important role that was played and a useful role that was played in the taskforce which, you know, got to the point of delivering the optimal pathway that we announced in March of this year," Mr Marles said. "But with the establishment of the Australian submarine agency, which came into effect on the first of July, you know, all of that is recast. And so yes, in a sense that task force morphed into, and became the nucleus of the Australian submarine agency, but it really is a very different paradigm now going forward." It must have been very convenient, then, that Ms Campbell quit in late July - just a few weeks after this metamorphosis began. While we're on the topic, we have also just learnt how much Defence spent sending representatives to the United States and United Kingdom as part of an 18-month consultation period for the project. Thanks to a question on notice from senator Jacqui Lambie, we now know that $15.2 million was spent on Aukus related travel from September 16, 2021 to June 30, 2023. The response revealed that there were 246 business class trips undertaken during this period, though none in first class (as per Defence Official Travel Policy).