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Notice given 19 November 2003

2384  Senator Evans: To ask the Minister for Defence—

(1) Is the department aware of the existence of the Internet site www.mil-kit-review.com; if so, what is the department’s view about this Internet site.

(2) Does the department have any concerns about the content of this Internet site.

(3) Is the department concerned that serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel operate this site.

(4) (a) Is the department aware of the concerns of the ADF personnel who operate this site; and (b) has the department responded to these ADF personnel about their concerns; if so, what has been the nature of the department’s response; if the department has not responded, why not.

(5) Is the department concerned that serving ADF personnel have such serious concerns about the appropriateness of the basic field equipment purchased by the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) Combat Clothing Section; if not, why not.

(6) What has the department done in response to the concerns raised by the operators of the site.

(7) Has the department: (a) made any approach or request to the operators of the site to modify or close the site down; if so, why; and (b) attempted to modify or close down the site by any other means; if so, why and how.

(8) Has the department taken any form of legal action against the operators of the site.

(9) How much has been spent on legal advice and/or action in attempting to close the site down.

(10) Has the department met with the operators of the site; if so: (a) when; and (b) what was the nature of these meetings.

(11) Does the department agree with the statement that in the past, the DMO has purchased basic field equipment (such as boots, packs, helmets and uniforms) that was ‘far from being the best that money can buy’.

(12) What problems have been encountered with the basic field equipment that has been purchased in the past.

(13) Have any injuries to ADF personnel been caused by inappropriate or poorly constructed footwear or clothing.

(14) What sorts of injuries attributable to inappropriate or poorly constructed footwear have ADF personnel received over the past 5 years.

(15) What has been done to overcome these problems; and (b) has the combat clothing purchasing policy been modified in any way; if so, how; if not, why not.