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Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Page: 234

Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 8 December 2004:

With reference to the decoration ceremony for former Australian Defence Force officer, Mr Nathan Moore on 15 November 2004:

(1)   On what date was Mr Moore first contacted in order to make arrangements for the ceremony.

(2) (a)   Who made contact with Mr Moore; and (b) what form did that contact take.

(3)   Will the Minister provide copies of any written contact regarding the arrangement of the ceremony; if not, why not.

(4) (a)   Who attended the ceremony; and (b) in what capacity did they attend.

(5)   Was the ceremony conducted at the Qantas Club at the Brisbane airport.

(6)   Will the Minister provide details of steps taken to publicise the event including copies of any media releases or media alerts issued by the Minister’s office or the department.

(7)   Will the Minister provide a copy of the citation; if no, why not.

(8) (a)   What are the usual steps taken to publicise decoration ceremony events; and (b) if the usual steps differ from those taken to publicise the ceremony for Mr Moore, why did these differences occur.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

I should note at the outset that the circumstances surrounding the discharge of Mr Nathan Moore from the Royal Australian Air Force are the subject of a confidentiality agreement between Mr Moore and the Air Force, designed to protect the privacy of Mr Moore. I also need to correct the Senator on two counts, Mr Moore was an Airman in the Air Force, not an Officer, and the ceremony to which the Senator refers was a private meeting arranged to present certain deliverables associated with Mr Moore’s discharge.

(1)   and (2) The Air Force conducted a facilitated discussion with Mr Moore and his legal representative on 18 October 2004 in Brisbane. The purpose of the meeting was to finalise the administrative matters associated with Mr Moore’s discharge. At that meeting, it was agreed that Mr Moore was to be discharged on 15 November 2004 and that there would be a presentation of the deliverables agreed as part of the discharge at a date and place to be advised, closer to 15 November 2004. The arrangements for the presentation were advised to Mr Moore’s legal representative in a letter from the Director General Personnel - Air Force dated and faxed on 2 November 2004.         Mr Moore was, subsequently, contacted by a staff officer from the Office of the Director General Personnel - Air Force office by telephone on 12 November 2004 to confirm that he had been advised of the arrangements for the presentation by his legal representative.

(3)   The letter from the Director General Personnel - Air Force dated 2 November 2004 contains other information that would compromise the confidentiality agreement between Mr Moore and the Air Force and I am not prepared to release the letter.

(4) (a)   The meeting on 15 November 2004 was attended by the Director General Personnel - Air Force and one of his staff officers, Mr Moore, Mr Moore’s parents and two of his brothers.

(b)   Director General Personnel Air Force and his staff officer attended in an official capacity.

(5)   The presentation was made to Mr Moore in a private room within the Business Centre of the Qantas Club at the Brisbane Domestic Terminal.

(6)   As the terms of Mr Moore’s discharge are the subject of a confidentiality agreement between Mr Moore and the Air Force there were no media releases.

(7)   The citation to which the Senator refers is a Combat Support Group Commander’s Commendation dated 15 April 2002, which was awarded to Mr Moore. This citation commended him for his actions in response to a motor vehicle accident on Ipswich Road in Brisbane on 27 February 2002. The original commendation was presented to Mr Moore by the then Commander Combat Support Group. Mr Moore advised the Air Force that he was unable to locate the original of the commendation, so the Air Force arranged for it to be reproduced and presented to him on 15 November 2004. A copy of the commendation has been forwarded separately to your office.

(8) (a)   These presentations are made on an opportunity basis and often presented on behalf of the bestowing authority at an informal gathering of the member’s immediate work area by the local commander. Publicity of the event is left to the discretion of the local commander.

(b)   As previously stated, the agreement between Mr Moore and the Air Force is confidential. Publicising the ceremony would have compromised that confidentiality.