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Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Page: 1054


Senator CARR (VictoriaMinister for Manufacturing and Minister for Defence Materiel) (16:50): by leave—Madam Acting Deputy President, I wish to make a short statement to clarify an answer I gave in question time today. Today I was asked a question by Senator Johnston with regard to the ADF Skype incident. I wish to take this opportunity to clarify the answer that I gave. The Minister for Defence made a statement on 11 April 2011 regarding the ADF Skype incident. He announced the independent inquiry under the relevant defence regulations into the management of the Australian Defence Force Academy and the aftermath of the incident. He made that statement on his own authority.

I want to clarify this in particular. Any suggestion that might have arisen from that answer that the minister himself had removed Commodore Kafer from his position in the ADF is untrue. The minister did not remove Commodore Kafer from his position in the ADF. As the minister stated publicly in that statement on 11 April 2011, Commodore Kafer was directed by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force to take leave from the ADF, effectively from 10 April 2011. This decision was made by Commodore Kafer's commanding officer, then Vice Chief of the Defence Force, now Chief of the Defence Force, in Commodore Kafer's best interests, in the best interests of the ADF, in the best interests of the Australian Defence Force Academy and in the best interests of Defence. Commodore Kafer has been assigned to other duties during the inquiry process.