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Review of recognition for the Battle of Long Tan and service at RAAF Ubon.



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SENATOR THE HON JOHN FAULKNER

Special Minister of State

Media Release

08/2008 1 April 2008

An Independent Review Panel, chaired by Major General Peter Abigail AO (Retd), has presented the Government with its reports on the recognition for the Battle of Long Tan and service recognition for RAAF personnel posted to Royal Thai Air Force Base Ubon, Thailand (RAAF Ubon) between 1965 and 1968.

The review of recognition for the Battle of Long Tan was announced on 12 October 2007. On 17 October the panel was also commissioned to examine claims for the Vietnam Logistic and Service Medal to be awarded for service at RAAF Ubon.

The Rudd Labor Government is committed to removing the politics from medals policy and to addressing a range of longstanding concerns in the awarding of medals to Australian service men and women.

Prior to the 2007 election, the ALP announced a commitment to continue the review of recognition for the Battle of Long Tan. After the election, the Rudd Government confirmed the panel’s terms of reference, including the additional reference regarding RAAF Ubon.

These are complex issues demanding rigorous examination and careful appraisal. The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, the Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Mike Kelly and I will consider the panel’s recommendations carefully.

The Government will respond to the two reports as soon as practicable. The reports will be made available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website by the end of April as consultations have to be undertaken with individuals for privacy reasons.

On behalf of the Government I express my thanks for the work of the panel in addressing these two outstanding recognition claims.

Membership of the Independent Review Panel Chair

Major General Peter Abigail AO (Retd) Executive Director of the Australian Stategic Policy Institute, and member of the Ministerial Advisory Panel for the Defence White Paper; former Deputy Chief of Army, Vietnam veteran.

Members

Review of Recognition for the Battle of Long Tan and Service at RAAF Ubon

Media Contact: Website:

Media Adviser - Colin Campbell - 0407 787 181 www.smos.gov.au

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Major General Steve Gower AO AO (Mil) (Retd) Director of the Australian War Memorial; former General Officer Commanding Training Command, Vietnam veteran.

Brigadier Gerry Warner AM LVO (Retd) CEO RAAF Association (WA Division) Inc, and member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; former Chief of Staff of Land Headquarters, former Military Secretary to the Governor-General.

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