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A.D.F. wastage rates report vindicates Opposition policies, slams Government's policies



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SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE AND PERSONNEL

UUM i Y.O iN

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY IviiCAi I

A.D.F. WASTAGE RATES REPORT VINDICATES OPPOSITION POLICIES, SLAMS GOVERNMENT'S POLICIES.

THE REPORT INTO PERSONNEL WASTAGE RATES IN THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCES, RELEASED BY THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEFENCE AND TRADE, CLEARLY HAS THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE AND PERSONNEL DUCKING FOR COVER.

THE REPORT, TABLED IN PARLIAMENT TODAY, ROUNDLY CONDEMNS THE GOVERNMENT'S MANAGEMENT OF DEFENCE FORCE PERSONNEL. IT DOES NOT ACCEPT CURRENT HIGH WASTAGE LEVELS CANNOT BE REDUCED, AND IT ROUNDLY CONDEMNS THE GOVERNMENT'S MANAGEMENT OF DEFENCE FORCE

PERSONNEL.

IT ALSO REINFORCES THE FACT, THAT AS THE MINISTER RESPONSIBLE, MRS. KELLY HAS FAILED. AT THE SAME TIME, THE REPORT VINDICATES THE COALITION'S APPROACH TO SERVICE PAY AND CONDITIONS.

IN SHORT, THE REPORT CONFIRMS THAT THE PRESENT LEVEL OF WASTAGE IS SUBSTANTIALLY TOO HIGH AND HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME. FURTHERMORE, IT ADDS THAT THERE HAS BEEN A CLEAR AND CONSISTENT TREND TOWARDS THIS SITUATION FOR SEVERAL YEARS. THIS THEORY PUTS PAID TO MRS. KELLY'S CRIES OF SEPARATION RATES BEING DUE TO THE VIETNAM HUMP.

THE REPORT ALSO REINFORCES THE OPPOSITION'S BELIEF THAT THE EXTENT AND MAGNITUDE OF WASTAGE IN SOME AREAS IS SUCH THAT IT WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE ADF FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT DECADE.

THE COMMITTEE BELIEVES THAT RETENTION STRATEGIES MUST BE DIRECTED AT BOTH THE NEEDS OF THE BROADER ADF AND THOSE OF SPECIFIC SPECIALIST GROUPS WITHIN THE FORCE. AGAIN, A REBUFF FOR THE MINISTER.

THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE AND PERSONNEL HAS TRIED, BUT IT HAS NOT BEEN GOOD ENOUGH. THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE, MR. BEAZLEY IS SIMPLY BLINKERED AND PIGHEADED. HE HAS A FIXATION ON CAPITAL EQUIPMENT. SHE LACKS THE CLOUT OR THE ABILITY TO MAKE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES.

THE REPORT IS HIGHLY CRITICAL OF THE LACK OF LEADERSHIP DISPLAYED BY THE GOVERNMENT, AND THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE GRASS ROOTS OF THE PROBLEM.

/2

...."IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE LEAD TIME TO REPLACE A HIGHLY SKILLED AND TRAINED INDIVIDUAL CAN BE AT LEAST AS,; LONG AS THAT REQUIRED TO INTRODUCE INTO SERVICE AN ITEM OF CAPITAL EQUIPMENT".

...."IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PRESENT LEVEL OF WASTAGE IS SUBSTANTIALLY TOO HIGH AND HAS BEEN FOR SOME TIME. FURTHER, THERE HAS BEEN A CLEAR AND CONSISTENT TREND TOWARDS THIS SITUATION FOR SEVERAL YEARS."

...."THE COMMITTEE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE'S CONCLUSION THAT WASTAGE IS OF CONCERN ONLY IN 'SOME SPECIFIC SPECIALIST AREAS'. THAT KIND OF ASSESSMENNT PAYS INSUFFICIENT ATTENTION TO THE QUALITATIVE ASPECTS OF WASTAGE, AS WELL AS

UNDERSTATING ΊΉΕ OVERALL EFFECT AND EXTENT OF NUMERICAL LOSSES. OUR ASSESSMENT IS THAT THERE IS CAUSE FOR CONCERN ACROSS A WIDE RANGE OF RANKS AND SKILLS, IN THE FOLLOWING GENERAL AND SPECIFIC

GROUPS:

GENERAL : MALE TRAINEES;

MALE PENSION ELIGIBLE;

MALE PENSION INELIGIBLE;

MALE OFFICERS;

JUNIOR OFFICERS;

PROJECT OFFICERS.

SPECIFIC

ARMY CORPORALS

NAVY OFFICERS, AND BELOW

NAVY ENGINEERS

NAVY PRINCIPAL

NAVY TECHNICAL

AIRMEN

AND SNCOs

COMMANDER

WARFARE OFFICERS

SAILORS

SIGNAL CORPS OFFICERS

ARMY SOLDIER SPECIALIST TRADESMEN

AIR FORCE ENGINEERS

AIR FORCE PILOTS

AIR FORCE TECHNICAL

NAVY SUBMARINERS

ARMY OFFICERS FLIGHT ENGINEERS

___ "THE EXTENT AND MAGNITUDE OF WASTAGE IN SOME OF THOSE AREAS IS SUCH THAT IT WILL ADVERSELY AFFECT THE ADF FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT DECADE. IT ALSO SHOWS THAT RETENTION STRATEGIES MUST BE DIRECTED AT BOTH THE NEEDS OF THE BROADER ADF AND THOSE OF SPECIFIC

SPECIALIST GROUPS WITHIN THE FORCES."

...."AN INABILITY TO MANAGE WASTAGE DATA RATHER THAN MERELY REACT TO IT SEEMS TO HAVE CHARACTERISED THE DEFENCE ORGANISATION'S USE OF PERSONNEL STATISTICS .... THE CLEAR IMPRESSION GAINED WAS THAT THE SYSTEM IS ESSENTIALLY REACTIVE. .

...."THE MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE AND PERSONNEL, CDF AND DepSec A MADE A POINT OF STRESSING TO THIS COMMITTEE THAT THE WORKING RELATIONSHIPS AT RUSSELL OFFICES ARE GOOD. YET DURING THE SAME HEARING, CDF SINGLED OUT THE DEFENCE COMPLEX IN CANBERRA AS

HAVING THE WORST MORALE IN THE ADF."

...."GIVEN RUSSELL OFFICES UNENVIABLE REPUTATION, THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTINUING REFUSAL TO PROMOTE MORE HARMONIOUS AND EFFICIENT WORKING RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN THE BROAD MILITARY AND CIVILIAN COMPONENTS OF THE DIARCHY THROUGH FUNDAMENTAL ORGANISATION REFORM

REMAINS SOMETHING OF A MYSTERY. AS LONG AS SENIOR MANAGEMENT CONTINUES TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE ABSURD EUPHEMISM OF 'CREATIVE TENSION' AS A ’ DESCRIPTION OF THE WORK ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE

DEFENCE COMPLEX, THE RUSSELL OFFICE SYNDROME WILL CONTINUE TO GENERATE AVOIDABLE WASTAGE."

___ "THE COMMITTEE COMMENDS THE HAMILTON REPORT'S FINDINGS, AND SUPPORTS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS RECOMMENDATIONS. AT THE SAME TIME, WE MUST RECORD OUR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE TIME TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT THE RECOMMENDATIONS."

...."IT IS ESSENTIAL TO DEVELOP A COHERENT FAMILY PROGRAMME WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF BROADER DEFENCE OBJECTIVES ... JUST AS FORCES CAPABILITY IS LIKELY TO DEVELOP FAR MORE EFFICIENTLY IF IT IS DIRECTED BY A CONSOLIDATED, RATIONAL PROGRAM, SO TOO WILL THE COMMITTMENT OF THE SERVICE FAMILY TO THE ADF BE ENHANCED IF THOSE FAMILIES KNOW THAT THEIR INTERESTS WILL BE PROMOTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH A SPECIFIC PROGRAM TO WHICH THE GOVERNMENT, THE ADF AND THE

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE ARE ALL COMMITTED."

...."WHILE WE BELIEVE THAT THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE HIGH SEPARATION RATE THE DEFENCE FORCE IS EXPERIENCING ESSENTIALLY ARISES FROM DISAFFECTION WITH LEADERSHIP AND LACK OF CAREER AND/OR JOB SATISFACTION, ANY CO-ORDINATED STRATEGY AIMED AT REDUCING SEPARATIONS IS UNLIKELY TO SUCCEED IF IT DOES NOT ADDRESS THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICE ANOMALIES."

--- "IN THE SHORT TERM, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A THOUGHTFUL AND REASONABLE 'CONDITIONS OF SERVICE' PACKAGE WILL NOT ONLY REDRESS UNSATISFACTORY CONDITIONS, BUT WILL ALSO PROVIDE GOVERNMENT AND DEFENCE LEADERSHIP WITH THEIR BEST OPPORTUNITY OF SHOWING THAT THEY REGARD THE ADF AND ITS MEMBERS AS A UNIQUE AND VALUED

INSTITUTION."

___ "THE COMMITTE BELIEVES THAT CONTINUING, VIGOROUS ACTION IS NECESSARY TO CONTROL THE PRESENT LEVEL OF PERSONNEL WASTAGE IN THE ADF WHICH, UNDER THE EXISTING ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS, IS EXCESSIVE AND INIMICAL TO NATIONAL DEFENCE."

R E P O R T D E M O N S T R A T E S G O V E R N M E N T H AS

F A I L E D

In the 18 months since Mrs. Kelly has

held the portfolio she has done

nothing to reduce the separations. The Numbers have not fallen, instead

they have increased further as the

table below s h o w s .

1987 1988

1937 Navy 2121 Navy

4659 Ar m y 4681 Army

2323 RAAF 2525 RAAF

8919 Total 9327 Total

The f i g u r e s don * t lie . The Minister

is now presiding over the highest

separation rates , post-war.

If she can attract these recruits and

train them - why can t she keep them.

R e c r uitment cannot replace skills and experience. Leadership and urgent action is n e e d e d , and it is needed

now.

The figures speak for t hems elves on

Education Allowance:

R A N A R M Y RAAF T O T A L

1987 9 34 12 55

1988 10 39 28 77

(to date)

For all of Mr s . K e 11y * s rhetoric, we

see an increase of only 22 - and an

overall take-up figure of just 77.