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Thursday, 30 September 1993
Page: 1526

Senator FAULKNER —During question time on Tuesday, 28 September 1993 Senator MacGibbon asked me how many complaints relating to sexual harassment I have received in total and how many I have received since the announcement of the HMAS Swan incident. I can provide the following information in answer to the honourable senator's question.

  In the period that I have been Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, I have received three complaints relating to sexual harassment. Of these, one was received after the incidents on HMAS Swan became public. One of the complaints related to a recent incident of alleged harassment—that is, in 1993. The other complaints related to incidents prior to this year, one some 11 years ago. Of the three complaints received by me, one related to an incident in the army, one in the navy and one at the Defence Force Academy. Two further complaints brought to my notice had already been notified to the previous minister. In both of those cases, the investigations have concluded and disciplinary action is proceeding or has been taken. For privacy reasons I do not intend to provide any further detail on any of these cases.

  I emphasise that these are the numbers of complaints received by me. I have had preliminary work done by headquarters ADF regarding figures of sexual harassment incidents reported to the services and to the Defence Force Academy and have now asked that those figures be very carefully checked for accuracy and comprehensiveness.