Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 25 May 1998
Page: 3049


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 30 March 1998:

(1) (a) What checks with respect to the source and intent of advertisements placed in the Army newspaper are conducted by the Australian Defence Force (ADF); (b) were checks carried out in the case of advertisements lodged by Fynwest Pty Ltd for the 30 October and 13 November 1997 editions of the Army; if so: (i) what did they reveal, and (ii) was the Minister's office advised, and, if so, by whom and what was discussed.

(2) (a) Was Fynwest Pty Ltd permitted to use ADF property for the purposes of conducting recruiting meetings; if so, when, where and on whose authority; and (b) was the Minister's office advised that this was occurring; if so, when and by whom.

(3) (a) Which serving members of the ADF were given leave to enable them to go to Dubai in December 1997 to train as stevedoring workers; (b) what kind of leave was involved in each case; (c) who approved the leave in each case; and (d) did the approving officer in each case discuss the application for leave with any superior officer in the Minister's office; if so, when and with whom.

(4) Have any inquiries been initiated to determine whether any leave applications which were granted involved any breach of ADF regulations; if so, what was the outcome of these inquiries and what action has been taken as a result.


Senator Newman (Social Security) —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) The relevant guidelines for the Army newspaper are contained in Chapter 7 of Volume 3 of the Army Manual of Personnel Administration. Paragraph 16 of which states:

"716. Advertisements. The editor is responsible that all advertisements accepted comply with relevant legislation and policy directives issued by the Chief of Personnel from time to time. He is to ensure that the format and wording of advertisements do not indicate or imply that the advertiser has official Army sponsorship for his product or service. The Director of Legal Services—Army (DALS-A) advice is to be sought when considered necessary. Due to the time factor involved in the production of the newspaper the editor is to allow maximum time for any legal examination and DALS-A is to give priority to such examination. When in doubt the editor is to seek guidance from the Director General of Public Information."

(b) Yes.

(i) As the advertisements conformed with the guidance they were published.

(ii) No.

(2) (a) Yes, 14 November 1997, Oakleigh Barracks, Victoria, by the Barracks Commander.

(b) No, the Minister was later advised in an Army Brief on 11 December 1997.

(3) (a) 36 full-time ADF personnel have been identified as being involved in Dubai stevedoring training. Only one of those continues to serve in the Permanent Forces.

11 Army Reserve personnel have been identified as being involved in Dubai stevedoring training. Reserve members are part-time employees and there are less stringent conditions relating to taking leave. However, 5 members notified their unavailability to parade which included notification of overseas travel.

Of the 36 members in the permanent forces, the breakdown is as follows:

Australian Regular Army

Army Reserve

7 x Warrant Officer Class 1

1 x Captain

16 x Warrant Officer Class 2

1 x Warrant Officer Class 1

1 x Staff Sergeant

5 x Warrant Officer Class 2

3 x Sergeant

1 x Sergeant

4 x Corporal

1 x Corporal

3 x Lance Corporal

1 x Lance Corporal

1 x Private

1 x Private

Total: 35

Total: 11

Royal Australian Air Force

1 x Leading Aircraftman

Total: 1

The personnel came from the following units around Australia:

ADF Recruiting Unit

- Melbourne

1

ADF Recruiting Unit

- Sydney

2

Army Logistics Training Centre

- Portsea

3

Command and Staff College

- Portsea

1

Defence Centre

- Perth

3

Directorate of Military Engineering (Army)

- Melbourne

7

Headquarters 13 Brigade

- Perth

1

Perth Logistics Battalion

- Perth

1

Royal Australian Ordnance Corps

- Bandiana

1

School of Armour

- Puckapunyal

1

Special Air Service Regiment

- Perth

1

2nd Commando Company

- Mosman

1

2nd Combat Engineer Regiment

- Enoggera

4

4th Brigade Admin Support Battalion

- Oakleigh South

1

4th/19th Prince of Wales Light Horse

- Macleod

2

5th/7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment

- Liverpool

1

5th Combat Engineer Regiment

- Penrith

1

10th Terminal Regiment (Transport)

- Mosman

2

13th Field Squadron

- Perth

1

301 Base Wing (RAAF)

- Orchard Hills

1

(b) Various combinations of Recreation Leave, Long Service Leave and Leave Without Pay were granted to Permanent Force personnel.

(c) Commanding Officers in the Permanent Forces approve recreation leave and, in the Army, leave without pay for up to 12 months, and may support members requests for long service leave, which are approved in the Financial Conditions Branch in Canberra.

(d) No requests for absence were discussed with the Minister or members of his office.

(4) Yes—Legal advice has been taken which indicates that in the case of a member on pre-discharge leave there would be no breach.

In the case of leave of absence, a member who is required to return to duty following leave would not be in breach of the obligation imposed by s.45 of the Defence Act during the first three months of the contract. If recalled to duty, the member could give one day's notice and return to active duty. Once the three month period has passed and the need arose to give a week's notice lawfully to terminate the contract, there may well be an inconsistency with the member's obligation under the Defence Act, depending on how quickly the member could be required to return to duty. Even then, it is possible for the member to abandon the private employment without giving notice. In that case, the member might be subject to legal action by the company for damages or the company might, pursuant to clause 10.3 (of the Australian Workers Agreement), simply treat the contract as at an end.

No action was necessary.