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Tuesday, 22 May 2001
Page: 26741


Mr Price asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 6 February 2001:

(1) Further to the answer to question No. 557 (Hansard, 12 May 1999, page 5321) in which it is stated the only other claims of inappropriate disciplinary action involve another Army unit at Holsworthy, was the unit referred to 3 RAR; if so, what prevented the unit from being named in the answer.

(2) When was the first time that the inappropriate disciplinary action was brought to the attention of the relevant Minister.

(3) Who was that Minister.

(4) Was the Minister or his staff or her staff briefed on the matter by either the ADF or the Department of Defence; if so, on what dates and by whom.

(5) What if any ministerial directions were issued by the Minister, on what date and to what effect.

(6) When was he or his ministerial staff first briefed on the 3 RAR Affair and by whom.

(7) What ministerial directions were issued, when and to what effect.

(8) On what subsequent occasions was he or his staff briefed on the 3 RAR Affair.

(9) What if any ministerial directions were issued, when and to what effect.

(10) Was Minister Moore or his staff briefed on the 3 RAR Affair; if so, when and by whom.

(11) Did Minister Moore or his staff issue or provide any directions; if so when and to what effect.


Mr Bruce Scott (Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes. Release of detail at the time was inappropriate as it may have prejudiced the investigation or legal proceedings.

(2) While several individual incidents had been reported as representations to the Office of the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel commencing in March 1998, formal advice of inappropriate disciplinary action was first received on 22 March 1999.

(3) The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence.

(4) Yes. The Chief of Army provided a brief on 22 March 1999.

(5) The Chief of Army was asked to ensure all allegations were thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken where appropriate.

(6) On 22 March 1999 by the Chief of Army.

(7) The Chief of Army was asked to ensure all allegations were thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken where appropriate.

(8) My staff and I have been kept regularly informed on 3 RAR issues.

(9) The Chief of Army was asked to ensure all allegations were thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken where appropriate.

(10) The Chief of Army provided a brief to the Office of the Minister for Defence on 22 March 1999.

(11) Yes, that the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence was to handle the issue.