Both sides of politics need to stop misusing defence bases and personnel as backdrops for election campaign events, a defence lobby group says.
If they can't agree to end the practice, then defence force chief General David Hurley and service bosses will need to halt it, Australia Defence Association (ADA) executive director Neil James says.
Both Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd used army bases and their personnel as backdrops to sell their election messages over the past five weeks, even though the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is staunchly apolitical.
"This constitutionally improper and unfair habit must cease," Mr James said in an election analysis.
"The conventions preserving the essential apoliticism of our defence force need to be reinforced not further undermined."
Mr James said the major parties should agree not to use defence personnel and facilities for party-political events.
"Any compromising of the necessary apolitical status of the ADF is also to the long-term detriment of both Australia's defence capabilities and the integrity of Australian democracy," he said.