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Tuesday, 4 May 1993
Page: 80

(Question No. 2561)


Senator MacGibbon asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 28 January 1993:

  With reference to the supplementary appropriation for November 1992:

  (1) How many ex Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) members were compensated following the quashing of Court Martial convictions.

  (2) What was the rank of each RAAF member concerned.

  (3) In each case, what was the actual conviction which was quashed, and why was each conviction quashed.

  (4) How much was the level of compensation in each case.

  (5) In each case what was the year the conviction was made and how many years service did each of the ex RAAF members have left to serve of their term of engagement.


Senator Robert Ray —The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Two ex-members were compensated. Compensation was paid also to the families of four ex-members who have since deceased.

  (2) Of these ex-members, four were corporals, one was a leading aircraftman and one was an aircraftman.

  (3) All convictions related to the one incident. One ex-member was convicted for endeavouring to persuade other members to join in a mutiny. The others were convicted for having failed to inform their commanding officer of an intended mutiny. All convictions were quashed by the Chief of the Air Staff on the advice of the RAAF Judge Advocate General who, on review, concluded that the convictions were wrong in law, were unreasonable and could not be supported having regard to the evidence.

  (4) The level of compensation for the two surviving ex-members was $80,000. For the families of the ex-members since deceased, the level of compensation was calculated in proportion to the number of years between the conviction and the ex-member's death.

  (5) In each case, the convictions were made in 1941. Of the then current engagements of the six ex-members, four had 4 years to serve, one had 3 years and one had 6 years.