Download the above photograph of the Minister.

Mr Chairman, Ministerial colleagues.

Introduction

Firstly let me thank the Government of Brunei for its hospitality, for the hosting of this meeting and congratulate Brunei on its Chairmanship of ASEAN.

Thank you for the opportunity to share Australia’s views on Regional and International Security and Defence Issues.

Australia sees our current and future strategic interests overwhelmingly positioned in this part of the world, the Indo Pacific.

Australia has a long standing record of active participation in and support for multilateral security frameworks such as the ADMM-Plus.

The ADMM-Plus brings together Defence Ministers from the 10 ASEAN nations plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States. It is in effect Defence Ministers meeting in the East Asia Summit format.

By involving all members of the East Asia Summit, the ADMM-Plus strengthens and deepens trust and cooperation on defence and security matters throughout the Indo Pacific.

I had the honour to represent Australia at the first ADMM-Plus in October 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and military medicine exercise held here in Brunei in June was a significant demonstration of practical cooperation involving all 18 ADMM-Plus member countries.

These practical military-to-military activities help foster regional partnerships and build transparency, openness and interoperability.

I welcome Indonesia’s plans to host a counter terrorism exercise next month and look forward to Australia hosting the inaugural maritime security exercise in October.

The ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups have added focus to this enhanced practical cooperation.

ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Maritime Security

Australia has been afforded the opportunity to Co-Chair with Malaysia the Experts’ Working Group on Maritime Security over the past three years.

Since April 2011 the Working Group has met on five occasions, conducted a table top exercise against non-traditional maritime security challenges and reached consensus on establishing further practical activities and ways to enhance information sharing between member countries.

Australia and Malaysia will host the inaugural ADMM-Plus Maritime Security Field Training Exercise from 29 September to 1 October in the vicinity of Jervis Bay and the East Australian Exercise Area.

Fourteen of the ADMM-Plus member countries will participate in this exercise, with 12 members contributing ships.

I take this opportunity to thank all ADMM-Plus members for their support to this activity.

The achievements of this Working Group are commendable and are a direct result of the strong working relationship between Australia and our Co-Chair Malaysia.

Malaysia has worked tirelessly to drive the agenda of this Working Group and maintain the momentum for practical cooperation on maritime security issues.

I thank and acknowledge the strong leadership of Malaysia in this area.

ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group (EWG) on Counter Terrorism

I also take this opportunity to thank ADMM-Plus members for their support for Australia to Co-Chair with Singapore the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter Terrorism, commencing next year.

As Co-Chair of this Experts’ Working Group, Australia looks forward to the opportunity to continue building regional capacity, foster interoperability, build links and relationships and enhance information sharing.

Maritime Security

Our region is host to some of the world’s busiest and most strategic trade routes in the world.

Nine of Australia’s top ten trading partners sit around this table – our national prosperity therefore depends on the security and stability of the oceans, seas and straits of this region.

For all countries in our region, national security is closely linked to maritime security.

Ultimately we all rely on maritime trade for our national well-being and the collective stability of our region.

We all have an interest in seeing peaceful resolution of maritime disputes. We all have a clear interest in the security of maritime trading routes.

Maintaining stability in the South and East China Seas is essential to ensuring continued prosperity for all countries who rely on trade through this region.

We welcome the recent announcement of senior officials’ consultations between ASEAN and China, and continue to encourage the commencement of negotiations on a substantive Code of Conduct as soon as possible.

Korean Peninsula

North Korea’s nuclear and long range missile programs present a real and credible threat to the security of our region.

Stability on the Korean Peninsula is a strategic concern for our region. Australia will continue to work closely with our friends and partners for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula in the face of grave provocation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Myanmar

One of the most encouraging developments in the region, from Australia’s perspective, is the continuing process of political reform in Myanmar.

Myanmar has made remarkable progress in initiating and driving this reform process since civilian government was established in 2011.  In March this year Australia announced that we would enhance our defence relationship with Myanmar.

Australia will place a resident Defence Attaché in Myanmar to allow for greater engagement and dialogue between the Australian Defence Force and the Tatmadaw and to open the way for cooperation in peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the future.

Australia welcomes Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014 and is looking forward to taking an active role in all meetings and multilateral frameworks.

Importance of Regional Engagement

Australia sees the evolving ASEAN-centric security architecture as vital to ongoing maintenance of stability in the region.

Such architecture enhances strategic transparency by building habits of dialogue and practical cooperation.

This includes transparency on military modernisation as the economies of countries in the Indo Pacific continue to grow.

Continuing to build support for regional institutions and habits of dialogue will help us withstand and resolve tensions if and when they arise.

Conclusion

Multilateral security frameworks institutionalise rules of the road and international norms around cooperation and dialogue.

The ADMM-Plus is making a strong and lasting contribution to this through practical defence-to-defence and military-to-military cooperation.

By fostering a strategic environment around these themes all countries of the Indo Pacific will benefit from peace, stability, investment and prosperity.

Thank you.

Foreign and Defense Ministers Yun Byung-se and Kim Kwan-jin of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Foreign and Defence Ministers Bob Carr and Stephen Smith of Australia held the first Foreign and Defence Ministers’ (2+2) Meeting in Seoul, ROK, to discuss regional and global security issues and ways to advance security and defence cooperation between Australia and the ROK, on July 4 2013.

Australia and the ROK are important partners sharing common values and interests. The Korea-Australia partnership has developed over more than 50 years into a broad-based strategic partnership. Our commercial ties are strong and people-to-people contacts are growing. Security cooperation between the two countries has increased significantly over recent years.

The Foreign and Defense Ministers, Yun Byung-se and Kim Kwan-jin, paid tribute to the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen to protect the freedom of the Republic of Korea between 1950 and 1953. Ministers Smith and Carr noted Australia’s appreciation for the programs regularly organised by Korea’s Ministry of Patriots and Veterans’ Affairs for Australian veterans visiting Korea.

The four Ministers condemned the recent provocative actions by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), particularly its launch of a long range missile in November 2012 and its third nuclear test on 12 February 2013, which contravened the DPRK’s obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolutions 1718 and 1874 and under the 19 September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. They welcomed the firm responses by the United Nations Security Council to the missile launch and nuclear test in Resolutions 2087 and 2094.

The four Ministers urged the DPRK to comply fully with its international obligations and commitments. The Ministers called on the DPRK to choose a path toward peace through trust, as has been offered by the international community, including the Republic of Korea. Ministers Smith and Carr expressed their support for the “Trust-Building Process on the Korean Peninsula” and the “Initiative on the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation” which have been launched by the Korean government.

The Ministers agreed that 2+2 meetings were the key bilateral mechanism with oversight of the security and defence relationship between the two countries, and they agreed that the next of their joint regular 2+2 meetings would take place in 2015, if practicable in Australia, and that the meetings would take place on a regular basis every two years.

The ROK Minister for Defense, Kim Kwan-jin and the Australian Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith noted their existing commitment to hold a Defence Ministers’ Dialogue annually.

The ROK Minister for Foreign Affairs, Yun Byung-se and the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Bob Carr agreed to hold a Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue annually.

The Ministers noted the establishment in 2012 of the annual bilateral Strategic Dialogue of senior officials, and agreed it represented an effective mechanism for senior-officials to review and prepare for 2+2 and other Ministerial meetings, as well as for the two countries to discuss the full range of their shared regional and global interests.

Ministers confirmed the commitment of their governments to the conclusion of negotiations on the Australia/Korea Free Trade Aagreement (FTA) which will deepen our bilateral economic partnership, spur economic and jobs growth in both countries, and put our two nations at the forefront of high-standard regional economic integration in the Asia-Pacific.

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs agreed to continue to focus development cooperation between the two countries on areas of shared interest in support of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific.

The Ministers welcomed the success of the revitalised Korea-Australia Young Political Leaders Exchange Program which was deepening cooperation between the two countries’ legislative bodies.

Defence and security cooperation

The Ministers welcomed the strengthened security cooperation which has resulted from the March 2009 Joint Statement on Enhanced Global and Security Cooperation between Australia and the Republic of Korea, and agreed that officials should begin work on drafting a broader statement of their common vision for peace and stability.

Ministers acknowledged the importance of conducting regular dialogue on security and defence issues impacting on the region. Ministers noted the important contribution that the annual Seoul Defence Dialogue for senior regional Defence officials makes to regional security and stability and they welcomed Minister Smith’s announcement that Australia would host a 1.5 Track North East Asia Security and Defence Forum later in 2013 bringing together senior defence officials and academics from around North Asia, Australia and the United States.

The broadening bilateral defence relationship builds on the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Defence Cooperation signed by Ministers Smith and Kim in Canberra, December 2011 and the Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Republic of Korea on the Protection of Classified Military Information which entered into force in December 2010.

The Ministers also agreed that working together effectively between the two countries’ defence organisations was vital to help enable Australia and the ROK to conduct operations together in the fields of maritime security, peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Ministers agreed to increase the scope and sophistication of cooperation in joint exercises to work more effectively together to boost the skills and capabilities of both defence organisations. They welcomed agreement to hold the next bilateral maritime exercise Haedolli Wallaby in late 2014. They also agreed to consider expanding people-to-people links through training and dialogue exchanges, including between strategy, policy and military personnel, and over time to explore future opportunities for Australia-ROK science and technology cooperation in the field of defence.

The Ministers noted that the United Nations Command (UNC), of which Australia is a key member, will continue to play its important role of maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Australia applauded the Republic of Korea for demonstrating its commitment to non-proliferation by hosting the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) Operational Experts Group meeting in September 2012. Ministers Kim and Yun expressed their appreciation for Australia’s active participation at the PSI exercise, through the provision of a Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft.

The Korean-hosted Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in March 2012 demonstrated the ROK Government’s nuclear security commitment at the highest level. The Ministers concurred that the Seoul NSS served as a meaningful opportunity to further bolster cooperation in the field of nuclear security. The Ministers looked forward to the Netherlands-hosted NSS in March 2014.

The Ministers stressed the need to enhance cooperation related to cyberspace and space security. Ministers Smith and Carr welcomed Korea’s hosting of the Seoul Conference on Cyberspace 2013 as an important opportunity to take forward the international dialogue on norms.

The Ministers welcomed the historic adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in April 2013 of the Arms Trade Treaty and committed to work for its early entry into force.

The Ministers acknowledged that various forms of security and defence cooperation were taking place among countries in the region bilaterally and among more than two countries, and agreed that such efforts will contribute to confidence building among countries in the region and create a stable security environment in the region.

They also noted the vital roles of China, Japan, the United States and ASEAN in forging a strong and resilient region, and pledged to work with these countries to make constructive contributions to regional peace and prosperity. The Ministers undertook to encourage closer defence to defence relations across the region to enhance understanding and to facilitate confidence building.

The Ministers welcomed increased dialogue between security research institutions in both countries, such as the recent 1.5 track dialogues with a security focus between the Korean Institute for National Unification and Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Regional Architecture and Global issues

The Ministers affirmed that Australia and the Republic of Korea would continue to work closely during their concurrent terms on the United Nations Security Council to address global security issues.

The two countries committed to continuing to work closely to strengthen regional architecture to promote cooperation on political, security, economic and other challenges facing the region. They agreed on the importance of the continued development of ASEAN-centred forums in which ASEAN’s dialogue partners, including Australia and the ROK, played an important role. They attached particular importance to the leader-level East Asia Summit (EAS) which could help manage strategic challenges. Both countries welcomed the useful discussions at the EAS Foreign Ministers’ meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum in Brunei Darussalam on 2 July, including on maritime security and the Korean Peninsula. Ministers acknowledged the important role of the ASEAN Plus Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM Plus) as a vehicle to enhance practical military to military and defence to defence cooperation. They agreed also on the importance of continuing to work closely in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).

The Ministers also agreed that Korea and Australia, as middle powers with regional and global interests and leverage, would jointly seek to enhance regional and global stability and prosperity, in partnership with other key middle power countries.

The Ministers underscored the G20’s role as the world’s premier multilateral forum for financial and economic cooperation. Australia and the ROK are working together increasingly closely in the G20 as Australia’s 2014 host year approaches, in order to boost growth and jobs, to maintain global financial stability, and to promote development.

The Ministers agreed to work together to support continued progress in multilateral climate change negotiations and to conclude by 2015 an agreement applicable to all UNFCC parties to come into effect from 2020. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the establishment and successful operation of the Green Climate Fund and Global Green Growth Institute, both hosted by the Republic of Korea.

The Ministers called on the DPRK to take concrete steps to uphold the human rights of nine young people who were forcefully repatriated recently to North Korea, and uphold the human rights of all its citizens. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the United Nations Commission of Inquiry into human rights abuses in the DPRK.

Australia and the ROK also agreed on the importance of maritime security and safety, freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They supported the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. They welcomed the ASEAN Chair’s statement at the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in April.

 

Media contacts:
Minister Carr’s office: (02) 6277 7500
Minister Smith’s office: (02) 6277 7800

Introduction

In June 1984, then Prime Minister Hawke made the first Ministerial statement to the Parliament on “the general purpose and functions of the defence facilities we operate jointly with our American ally”, delivering on an undertaking given to the Australian people in the run up to the 1983 election.

Since that time, successive Governments have continued to make known to the Australian public the general purpose and functions of these facilities, any change to these general purposes and the principles on which these facilities operate, namely Full Knowledge and Concurrence.

Subsequent statements have been made to Parliament, including under the previous Government by then Defence Minister Brendan Nelson in September 2007.

This Statement today updates the Parliament and the Australian people on the Joint Facilities and the policy of Full Knowledge and Concurrence which governs the operation of the Joint Facilities.

A Strong Alliance

This Labor Government takes pride in the fact that the foundations of the Australia-United States Alliance were laid by war time Labor Prime Minister John Curtin, when our country faced its greatest threat in 1941.

Successive Australian Governments, like this one, have strongly supported the Australia-United States Alliance. Our relationship remains one of common ideals and shared values.

Our Alliance with the United States provides Australia significant access to advanced defence technologies, communications systems, intelligence, research and development, and professional skills and development.

For our direct security, it means that associated capability, intelligence and technological partnerships are available to support our strategic capability advantage in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond.

The Australia-United States Alliance relationship has never been stronger, following on successive years of military operations together in Afghanistan, expanded practical cooperation in our own region and cooperation in the modern areas of cyber, satellite communications and space.

Our increased practical military-to-military cooperation under the United States global force posture initiatives has occurred as the United States has placed greater emphasis on an enhanced engagement in the Indo Pacific.

In November 2010 at the annual Australia United States Ministerial (AUSMIN) consultations in Melbourne, then United States Secretary of Defense Gates and I established a joint working group on force posture to consider opportunities for enhanced practical defence cooperation between our two countries.

In November 2011 in Canberra, Prime Minister Gillard and President Obama announced two agreed force posture initiatives: six month rotational deployments of United States Marine Corps personnel to northern Australia and subsequently increased rotations of United States Air Force aircraft through northern Australia.

In April 2012, Australia welcomed the first rotation of 200 Marines to Darwin for a six month deployment to northern Australia and Southeast Asia. The second such rotation started in April this year. Recently, the Government announced that in 2014 the six month rotational deployment would increase to 1150 personnel.

Over subsequent years, the intent is to increase this rotational presence to a Marine Air Ground Task Force of around 2,500 personnel.

In November 2012 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Perth, Australia and the United States agreed to undertake a study into potential opportunities for additional naval cooperation at a range of locations, including HMAS Stirling.

In February 2008 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Canberra, Australia and the United States agreed to a Military Satellite Communications Partnership and signed a joint Statement of Principles to guide bilateral cooperation in this area.

In November 2010 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Melbourne, Australia and the United States agreed to a Space Situational Awareness Partnership and signed a joint Statement of Principles to guide bilateral cooperation in this area.

In September 2011 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in San Francisco, Australia and the United States agreed that a cyber attack on either country would trigger the mechanisms of the ANZUS Treaty. We announced jointly that “our Governments share the view that, in the event of a cyber attack that threatens the territorial integrity, political independence or security of either of our nations, Australia and the United States would consult together and determine appropriate options to address the threat”.

In November 2012 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Perth, then US Defense Secretary Panetta and I signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the establishment of a jointly-operated C-band radar space surveillance installation at the Harold E. Holt naval communication facility in Exmouth, Western Australia.

Secretary Panetta and I also agreed that Australia and the United States would work together to progress a proposal to transfer a highly advanced Space Surveillance Telescope to Australia.

The relocation and joint operation of these assets is a demonstration of our commitment to closer space cooperation, and builds upon the Space Situational Awareness Partnership established between Australia and the United States at AUSMIN in Melbourne in 2010.

In November 2012 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Perth, Secretary Panetta and I also agreed that our two countries would discuss the possible establishment of a Combined Communications Gateway in Western Australia, which would provide both Australia and the United States greater access to the Wideband Global Satellite communications constellation in which we are partners.

These discussions follow on from the signing of the Military Satellite Communications Partnership Statement of Principles in February 2008 at the annual AUSMIN consultations in Canberra.

Given the importance of our Alliance with the United States, and in light of this increased cooperation and engagement in recent times, it is appropriate to take this opportunity to articulate the principles which underpin our engagement with the United States, particularly when it occurs in Australian facilities on Australian territory.

The Joint Facilities

Australia and the United States established Joint Facilities at Pine Gap in the Northern Territory, Nurrungar at Woomera and the North West Cape in Western Australia in the 1960s.

Pine Gap was commissioned in 1967 and officially became known as the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap in 1988.

Nurrungar was commissioned in 1969 and de-commissioned in 1999.

The Naval Communication Station, Harold E. Holt, on the North West Cape of Western Australia was originally commissioned as a United States base in 1967.

It became a Joint Facility in 1974 at the instigation of the then Whitlam Government and an Australian facility in 1993 at the instigation of the then Hawke Government.

In July 2008 a Treaty was signed for United States access to and use of the Australian facility for a period of 25 years.

Australia currently hosts two Joint Facilities with the United States – the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap and the Joint Geological and Geophysical Research Station, originally established in 1955. Both are located near Alice Springs.

The Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap collects intelligence data which supports the national security interests of both Australia and the United States, and provides ballistic missile early warning information.

The Joint Geological and Geophysical Research Station is a seismic monitoring station originally established to monitor nuclear explosions during the Cold War. It continues to monitor such explosions as part of the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It also monitors earthquakes. It is jointly operated by Geoscience Australia and the US Air Force.

Australian Defence facilities to which the United States has access to include, in particular:

• the Naval Communication Station, Harold E. Holt, on the North West Cape of Western Australia which provides communications facilities for US and Australian submarines;

• the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) located at the Australian Defence Satellite Communication Station near Geraldton which provides satellite communications; and

• the Extended High Accuracy Network Determination System (Ext-HANDS) research installation in Learmonth in Western Australia comprising optical research sensors which collect data for space situational awareness research.

In 1984, the Hawke Government acknowledged that the Joint Facilities directly contributed to Australia’s national security, the benefits of which we enjoy everyday. The Hawke Government also acknowledged, for the first time, some of the functions performed at the Joint Facilities, their contribution to deterrence, and the monitoring and verification of arms control agreements.

A key focus of Prime Minister Hawke’s June 1984 statement to Parliament was the contribution Joint Facilities made to maintaining stability during the Cold War. At that time it was important to support stability in the strategic relationship between the super-powers. Australia’s co-operation with the United States in the Joint Facilities did this.

It also means that, for so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are able to rely on the nuclear forces of the United States to deter nuclear attack on Australia.

This was a point made by Prime Minister Hawke in 1984 when he stated that Australia could not claim the full protection of deterrence without being willing to make some contributions to its effectiveness.

Australian Defence policy under successive Australian Governments has acknowledged the value to Australia of the protection afforded by extended nuclear deterrence under the United States Alliance.

In November 1988, Prime Minister Hawke updated Parliament on changes that had been made to maintain and strengthen the partnership at the Joint Facilities, and to ensure that the facilities continued to operate in ways that best served Australia’s interests and those of the United States.

New arrangements at Pine Gap were announced, which included the appointment of Australian Defence officials into senior management positions including the then newly created position of deputy chief of facility.

These changes confirmed the Hawke Government’s conviction that the Joint Facilities served Australia’s national interest and reflected the depth and substance of our bilateral, strategic, Alliance relationship with the United States.

On the 40th anniversary of the Joint Defence Facility Pine Gap in September 2007, then Minister for Defence, Dr Brendan Nelson, in a Ministerial Statement to Parliament reinforced the contribution made by the Pine Gap Joint Facility to defence and national security.

Dr Nelson acknowledged that all activities at Pine Gap “take place with the Full Knowledge and Concurrence of the Australian Government”. This had not been the case prior to the Hawke Government’s period in office. Dr Nelson emphasised that the then Government remained satisfied with the arrangements that governed the use of the facilities and welcomed the continued involvement of the United States.

The Joint Facilities hosted by Australia continue to make a significant contribution to our Alliance with the United States, an Alliance which remains the cornerstone of our security, strategic and defence arrangements.

The Joint Facilities reflect the depth of our strategic cooperation with the United States.

For almost half a century Australia has made a significant contribution to United States’ national security and global strategic stability by hosting and supporting some of the most sensitive and critical strategic capabilities.

These include systems related to intelligence collection, ballistic missile early warning, submarine communications, and satellite based communications.

The Evolving Role of Pine Gap

Pine Gap is an Australia – United States Joint Facility. The Pine Gap Treaty was originally signed in 1966 and was last extended in 1998. The Treaty remains in force until terminated by either Government.

Pine Gap has evolved from its Cold War origins to meet new demands and take advantage of new technologies.

The facility supports monitoring of compliance with arms control and disarmament agreements and provides ballistic missile early warning information.

Pine Gap is a central element of Australia’s security and intelligence relationship with the United States. It makes a vital contribution to the security interests of both countries and re-affirms the very high level of cooperation that has been achieved in Australia’s closest defence relationship.

Through the information gathered at this Joint Facility, Australia is able to access intelligence and early warning that would be unavailable from any other means and is unique in our region.

Pine Gap delivers information on intelligence priorities such as terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and military and weapons developments.

The ballistic missile early warning function is performed remotely through the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Relay Ground Station at Pine Gap.

The SBIRS program is designed to provide key capabilities in the areas of missile warning and battlespace characterisation.

Intelligence collected at Pine Gap contributes to the verification of arms control and disarmament agreements.

The existence of nuclear weapons is the most dangerous legacy of the Cold War. The Cold War has ended but nuclear weapons still exist. The threat of a global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of the use of nuclear weapons continues.

Regrettably, more nations have acquired weapons, testing has continued, and terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one.

As a nation that prides itself on playing an active role in the counter-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the value of the data obtained from Pine Gap cannot be underestimated. Australia’s hosting of this capability supports the Government’s long-standing and comprehensive policy supporting counter-proliferation.

In addition to the intelligence benefits, the facility at Pine Gap provides Australia a world class capability which we could not independently develop.

The capabilities present at Pine Gap will continue to meet the demands and take advantage of new technologies.

Pine Gap will remain a central element of Australia’s security relationship with the United States for the foreseeable future.

Full Knowledge and Concurrence

As Dr Nelson stated in 2007, all activities at Pine Gap take place with the Full Knowledge and Concurrence of the Australian Government.

Full Knowledge and Concurrence is an expression of sovereignty, of Australia’s fundamental right to know what activities foreign Governments conduct in, through or from Australian territory or national assets.

In July 2008, then Minister for Defence Joel Fitzgibbon and then US Secretary of Defense Gates signed the Harold E. Holt Treaty which sets out the terms and conditions for United States access to and use of the Harold E. Holt Communications Station by Australia and the United States for the next 25 years.

The Treaty includes a requirement that US use of the Station be in accordance with the Australian Government’s policy of Full Knowledge and Concurrence.

In November 2010, at the Australia-United States Ministerial consultations, Dr Gates and I exchanged letters detailing the Full Knowledge and Concurrence arrangements relating to the Harold E. Holt facility. Completing the exchange of letters enabled the Treaty to be ratified, bringing it into effect.

Full Knowledge and Concurrence is a long-standing Australian Government policy and is our underpinning principle for the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap and United States access to and use of the Harold E. Holt Naval Communications Station.

Full Knowledge equates to Australia having a full and detailed understanding of any capability or activity with a presence on Australian territory or making use of Australian assets.

Concurrence means Australia approves the presence of a capability or function in Australia in support of its mutually agreed goals. Concurrence does not mean that Australia approves every activity or tasking undertaken.

Some of the ways by which we develop and maintain full and detailed understanding are by having Australian involvement in operations; having access to products; and through provision of briefs or reviews of activities when they occur, or on a regular basis.

In May 2010, then Defence Minister Faulkner endorsed an explanation of the Full Knowledge and Concurrence policy to ensure clarity of understanding of this long standing policy.

The requirement for full and detailed understanding may include:

• The capabilities of the facility, asset or system, such as bandwidth, data rates and information collected by the system while operating in, through or from Australian territory.

• The type and function of communications transmitted through the facility, asset or system, including the general nature of traffic.

• Any proposed changes to the use of the facility, asset or system that may affect any aspect of its operation.

• An understanding of the facility, asset or system in its totality and the uses to which it may be put.

The details and the implementation of the Full Knowledge and Concurrence policy has evolved over time. The detail and implementation has been adapted to suit changing technological requirements. The principles however have not changed.

Australian and United States officials aim to continuously improve processes at the Joint Facilities and to ensure that the policy is working at a practical level and across other relevant areas, including through the annual Full Knowledge and Concurrence audit.

The activities conducted at the Joint Facilities will continue to be undertaken on the basis of our Full Knowledge and Concurrence, and provide capability benefits for Australia.

It is now part of our normal processes to consider Full Knowledge and Concurrence principles for any new agreements with the United States.

Full Knowledge and Concurrence will apply, for example, to the new capabilities that we have recently agreed with the United States, including the location of a C-Band radar and Space Surveillance Telescope to Australia and the establishment of a Satellite Communications ground station at Geraldton.

Our Joint Facilities with the United States will continue to contribute to the intelligence collection capabilities of both countries, support multilateral agreements to monitor compliance with arms control and disarmament, and underpin global strategic stability.

There is enduring value in our Joint Facilities and our other facilities that the United States has access to under the principle of Full Knowledge and Concurrence.

The contribution of these facilities to global United States’ capabilities strengthens our Alliance, enhances Australia’s own capabilities and makes a significant contribution to both Australia’s national security interests and to global security.

TRANSCRIPT: CONDOLENCE MOTION FOR CORPORAL CAMERON BAIRD IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TRANSCRIPTION: PROOF COPY E & OE
DATE: 24 June 2013

I rise to associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition in expressing condolence to the family, friends and mates of Corporal Cameron Stewart Baird. He is survived by his parents, his brother and his partner.

Corporal Baird is our 40th fatality in Afghanistan, our first this year and our first since October last year. As the Prime Minister indicated, in the course of the battle in which he was fatally wounded, two other Australian soldiers were wounded, bringing to 256 the number of Australian soldiers wounded in Afghanistan, 10 this year.

As our 40th fatality, his death will of course be a tragic reminder to 39 other Australian families. He was a Medal for Gallantry recipient, from the 2nd Commando Regiment at Holsworthy. Our Special Operations Task Group has paid a heavy price and the Commandos have paid a heavy price for their great work in Afghanistan. Corporal Baird is the 20th fatality from our Special Force Operations Task Group, the 12th from the 2nd Commando Regiment. He was on his fifth tour of Afghanistan, following upon tours in Iraq and Timor-Leste. As both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have said, he was regarded as an iconic figure at Holsworthy, an iconic figure of the Commandos and, as the Chief of the Defence Force said and as the Leader of the Opposition quoted the Chief of the Defence Force over the weekend: “When there was action, he was the man to watch and he was never happier than when the situation demanded someone to take decisive action.” And that was certainly the case when he received his Medal for Gallantry.

For those families who gathered together with the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the Chief of the Defence Force on Saturday afternoon in North Queensland, the news on Sunday morning would have been particularly distressing for them. Our thoughts were with them on Saturday afternoon when I spoke to the Chief and the Prime Minister, and also on Sunday again.

This is a terrible blow to Corporal Baird’s family and a terrible blow to the Commandos. On Wednesday last week I, along with the Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, and the Governor-General, attended Holsworthy to mark the awarding to the Commandos of the Eastern Shah Wali Kot Battle Honour, the first Battle Honour to be awarded to an Army Regiment since the Vietnam War—such is the contribution that the Commandos and their members have made to Afghanistan.

Corporal Baird’s death underlines that Afghanistan continues to be difficult and dangerous. The risk may have changed but, nonetheless, the risk remains, particularly for our Special Forces. Transition to Afghan-led security responsibility in Uruzgan has commenced and is on track. Our main base in Tarin Kot will be closed by the end of the year and around 1000 Australian soldiers will return home at that time. The transition to Afghan-led responsibility for security across all of Afghanistan has also started with the formal, final tranche of transition occurring last week. All of the Districts in all of the 34 Provinces in Afghanistan are now subject to Afghan National Security Force responsibility.

Our condolences go to Corporal Baird’s family, his friends and his mates.

His contribution and his sacrifice and that of the Commandos will never be forgotten. Lest We Forget.

Paper presented

 

by the

 

Minister for Defence

 

Stephen Smith MP

 

on

 

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

 

Tabled in conjunction with a Ministerial Statement

 

on

 

20 June 2013

Introduction

The Government is committed to providing regular reports and updates on its response to allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence, including to the Parliament.

In April 2011, in the aftermath of the so-called ‘ADFA Skype incident’, I announced a range of Reviews into aspects of the culture within both the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to address ongoing concern in relation to failure to meet appropriate standards of conduct.

The cultural Reviews included the Use of Alcohol in the ADF, Personal Conduct of ADF Personnel, the Use of Social Media in Defence, Employment Pathways for Australian Public Service Women in Defence and the Management of Incidents and Complaints in Defence.

The Reviews assessed the good work that had been done to date in these areas and examined what further improvements could be made.

In addition to the Reviews into aspects of Defence culture, I also announced at that time two significant Reviews into the Treatment of Women at ADFA and in the ADF generally, to be conducted by the Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Ms Elizabeth Broderick, on behalf of the Australian Human Rights Commission, and the DLA Piper Review into Allegations of Sexual and Other Abuse in Defence.

On 11 April 2011, I also announced that the Chief of the Defence Force would bring forward for implementation by the Government the opening up of all roles in the ADF to women on the basis that determination for suitability for roles in the ADF is to be based on their ability to perform in the role, not gender.

In September 2011 the Government announced it had formally agreed to the removal of gender restrictions from ADF combat roles.

Defence’s comprehensive response to the cultural Reviews, the March 2012 Pathway to Change document, outlines how the recommendations of the various cultural Reviews will be implemented consistent with the wider Defence reform programme.

Pathway to Change sets out the requirement that Defence personnel demonstrate exemplary behaviour commensurate with the nation’s expectations, in and out of uniform, on and off duty, and how the Defence leadership will require these standards are met.

It states that Australia rightly expects that Defence will deliver to consistently high standards, including in everyday personal behaviour and in how personnel treat their colleagues.

This requirement was again underlined by the formal statement by the Defence leadership in October 2012 in response to the Broderick Review into the Treatment of Women in the ADF, which stated that every sexual offender and harasser will be held to account together with leaders who fail to appropriately address such behaviour.

As the Defence leadership stated on that occasion, when the Government and Defence adopted all of the recommendations of the Broderick Reviews, these standards are not open to negotiation.

The failure to meet the standards required of Pathway to Change and the Broderick Reviews was sadly demonstrated by the appalling revelations last week by the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, in relation to an ongoing investigation by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS), in cooperation with the NSW Police, into the actions of a group of officers and non commissioned officers of the Australian Army.

The matters under investigation are serious and centre on the production and distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women across both the Defence computer systems and the public internet.

Three already suspended Army members are the subject of an ongoing investigation by New South Wales Police.

Army has initiated action to consider the suspension of another five members who are the subject of a parallel ADFIS investigation into a number of alleged Service offences.

Pending the outcome of the ongoing ADFIS investigation, the Army may consider further suspension decisions against nine others if the circumstances warrant.

ADFIS is also investigating a further 90 individuals who have been identified as peripheral to the group’s email exchanges.

The Government strongly supports the actions taken by the Chief of Army.

Lieutenant General Morrison has unambiguously reinforced his expectations of appropriate behaviour and demonstrated his resolve to act decisively in response to such despicable incidents.

Incidents such as these do significant reputational damage to the good work of the vast majority of the Australian Defence Force and are symptomatic of a systemic culture problem within Defence.

For two reasons this is a different case of inappropriate behaviour to that of the ‘ADFA Skype incident’.

First, this situation does not involve young men with weeks in the Australian Defence Force. It involves commissioned and non-commissioned officers who have been in the Army for years.

Second, the response on this occasion has been qualitatively different and significantly better than the response in the ‘ADFA Skype incident’.

The response to the ‘ADFA Skype incident’ was wanting and led directly to the Reviews referred to above, as well as the DLA Piper Review into Allegations of Sexual and Other Abuse in Defence.

In contrast to the response to the ‘ADFA Skype incident’, the Government strongly supports the robust response that demonstrates in the post-ADFA Skype environment the zero tolerance of Defence leadership for failure to meet appropriate standards.

General Morrison has unambiguously demonstrated the standard set by the Chief of the Defence Force, the Secretary of the Department of Defence, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force and the Service Chiefs for the Defence leadership’s zero tolerance response to inappropriate conduct.

General Morrison has set the benchmark for future zero tolerance responses to inappropriate conduct.

The Defence leadership is absolutely committed to pursuing the reforms necessary to ensure zero tolerance of inappropriate conduct.

Full implementation of the range of cultural reforms are essential to preventing future such occurrences and ensuring a zero tolerance response is adopted if they do occur.

To ensure that ongoing implementation of the reforms receives the necessary oversight, I have committed to providing an annual report to the Parliament on Defence’s implementation of the cultural reform program.

This is the first of these such annual reports.

On 26 November 2012 I announced the Government’s response to the Report of the DLA Piper Review into Allegations of Sexual or Other Abuse in Defence and on 14 March 2013 I presented to the House the First Interim Report of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce.

Today I provide an update to the Parliament on the Government’s response to the DLA Piper Review and the work of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, chaired by the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD,QC.

As well I will Table the Taskforce’s Second Interim Report.

Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

The DLA Piper Review into allegations of sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence received allegations from over 1,000 people.

The DLA Piper Review identified a range of allegations from 775 people which fell within the Review’s Terms of Reference, the overwhelming majority of which were said to be plausible allegations of abuse.

These involve allegations across every decade from the 1950s. The earliest date of alleged abuse is 1951.

The individual allegations, findings, issues and recommendations included in the Report are serious and concerning. They involve complex and sensitive matters which required very careful consideration.

The Government’s response to the Review has been guided by the Recommendations in the Review and will ensure that people who have alleged past abuse in Defence receive a response which is tailored to their individual circumstances and the nature of their experiences.

The Response includes:

• An historic general Apology to members of the Australian Defence Force or Defence employees who have suffered sexual or other forms of abuse in the course of their employment delivered by me in the Parliament on 26 November 2012, and subsequently by the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley.

• The establishment of the independent Taskforce to assess the individual complaints and wider systemic issues headed by the Hon Len Roberts Smith QC; and

• Access to a capped reparation scheme.

Independent Taskforce

The Taskforce is comprised of a Leadership Group appointed by the Attorney-General and me and staff who have been engaged by the Taskforce since its establishment.

The Leadership Group Chair, the Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD, QC is assisted in his role by three other Leadership Group members, Deputy Chair Mr Robert Cornall AO, Member Consultant Ms Susan Halliday, and Ex-Officio Member Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Rudi Lammers APM.

Under its Terms of Reference, the Taskforce is to:

• assess the findings of the DLA Piper Review and the material gathered by that Review, and any additional material available to the Taskforce concerning complaints of sexual and other forms of abuse by Defence personnel alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011,the date of the announcement of the DLA Piper Review;

• include in this assessment the 24 Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) cases noted by DLA Piper and the cases of abuse identified by reports into physical violence and bullying at HMAS Leeuwin, and whether the alleged victims, perpetrators and witnesses in relation to these cases remain in Defence;

• determine, in close consultation with those who have made complaints, appropriate actions in response to those complaints;

• also, as appropriate, gather additional information relevant to consideration of the handling of particular allegations eg relevant records held by Defence;

• take account of the rights and interests of alleged victims, accused persons and other parties;

• liaise with the Minister for Defence, Chief of the Defence Force and the Secretary of the Department of Defence on any implications of its work for Defence’s ‘Pathway to Change’ and other responses to the series of reviews into Defence culture and practices in particular the work done by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner into the ADF and ADFA;

• report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Defence every 3 months on its progress and issues arising, including whether the funding it has been provided is adequate so as to enable the Attorney General and Minister for Defence to report to Parliament as appropriate;

• report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Defence by October 2013 on whether, and in what form, the Taskforce should continue in effect beyond the extended 18 month period and the funding that would be required so as to enable the Attorney General and Minister for Defence to report to Parliament as appropriate; and

• to advise whether a Royal Commission would be merited into any categories of allegation raised with the DLA Piper review or the Taskforce, in particular the 24 ADFA cases.

The Taskforce has responsibility for liaising with those who have made allegations of abuse to determine an appropriate response in individual allegations, which can include:

• restorative engagement where a complainant and a senior Defence representative are brought together in a facilitated process;

• referral to counselling (with the Taskforce being funded to provide counselling services beyond those generally available to Defence personnel or veterans) and health and other existing services;

• reparation, to a maximum of $50,000;

• referral of appropriate matters to police for formal criminal investigation and assessment for prosecution; and

• referral of appropriate matters for disposition by the military justice system or other Defence process (for example, considered under the Public Service Act).

All communications made to the DLA Piper Review, including those that were assessed by DLA Piper as being outside the scope of that Review or were referred to an external body, are intended to be reassessed by the Taskforce if consent is given by the individual who contacted DLA Piper for that reassessment.

The Taskforce is also assessing new allegations and complaints received by it since its establishment where those allegations refer to abuse that is alleged to have occurred prior to 11 April 2011 and received by the Taskforce by 31 May 2013.

In March when I tabled the First Interim Report by the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, the Taskforce was coming to the end of its Establishment Phase.

Taskforce Second Interim Report

The Second Interim Report outlines the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce’s transition into its Operational Phase. It provides important information in relation to the work of the Taskforce.

As the Report outlines, the Taskforce is continuing to gather material and assess both information provided to DLA Piper during its Review and information relating to new complaints registered with the Taskforce since its establishment in November 2012.

As at 31 May 2013, there were 2,410 complaints which will be assessed by the Taskforce.

Of these, 1535 are new complaints received by the Taskforce between 26 November 2012 and by 31 May 2013 and 875 are complaints which came from DLA Piper that the Taskforce has consent from the complainant to reassess.

Approximately 331 complaints have been identified as duplicates or multiple lodgements by the same person. 510 have not yet provided consent for information to be passed to the Taskforce.

These include 173 regarded by DLA Piper as plausible allegations. The Taskforce has received 602 of the plausible allegations made to DLA Piper.

I have asked the Taskforce to follow up with DLA Piper to ensure that individuals who have not yet given consent are given every opportunity for their complaints to be assessed by the Taskforce. If they provide such subsequent consent, their allegations will be assessed by the Taskforce.

By 6 June 2013, the Taskforce had contacted approximately 1380 complainants to answer enquiries, assist complainants complete the Taskforce’s forms and provide supporting information and discuss the options available to complainants and ascertaining which outcomes they wish to pursue.

More than 240 complaints were at various points of the assessment process on 6 June 2013 and eight complaints had been provided to the Reparation Payments Assessor for consideration.

The Taskforce will endeavour to provide resolution in consultation with the complainant, taking into account his or her individual circumstances and wishes.

The Taskforce will only work towards those outcomes the complainant indicates he or she wants.

During the period covered by this Report, the Taskforce has been:

• contacting consenting DLA Piper complainants to advise them their information is now with the Taskforce and requesting they complete a Statutory Declaration to confirm or amend their original personal accounts;

• sending out Personal Account Forms for completion by new complainants who contacted the Hotline or the Taskforce directly;

• liaising with complainants, Defence and other agencies to obtain further information in relation to particular complaints;

• processing, scanning and inputting data and information into the Taskforce’s Case Management System;

• answering complainants’ queries and informing them about what to expect when dealing with the Taskforce and how their matter will be handled and processed through to resolution; and

• assessing complaints to determine if they are within the scope of the Terms of Reference and the allegations are plausible.

About 1,380 complainants have been contacted by the Complainant Support Group which is answering their enquiries, assisting them to complete the Taskforce’s forms and provide supporting information and consulting complainants about the options open to them and the available resolutions they wish to pursue.

Other key achievements by the Taskforce since the first report include:

• scanning and collating over 20,000 documents received from DLA Piper and other sources;

• continuing the creation of case files and input of data into the Case Management System which will, when completed, cover all of the information about complaints received by the Taskforce. Approximately 1570 complaints including over 1920 cases have been recorded in the Case Management System;

• commencing discussions with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to agree on an information sharing protocol;

• developing the Counselling Program and in the process of procuring the required counselling services; and

• developing the Restorative Engagement Program and in the process of procuring the required restorative engagement services and working with Defence to facilitate the participation of senior Defence personnel;

• providing training from psychologists to all relevant staff to ensure they deal with complainants in an appropriate manner; and

• providing training on freedom of information, privacy, fraud control, bullying and sexual harassment and other key areas of the Taskforce’s operations.

Reparation Scheme

On 14 March the Government announced that it had approved the operation of the Defence Abuse Reparation Payment Scheme.

The purpose of the Defence Abuse Reparation Payment Scheme is to recognise that abuse in Defence is unacceptable and wrong.

Individuals who suffered sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence should be afforded some form of financial reparation, as part of a broader acknowledgement that such abuse should never have occurred.

Recognition will be made in the form of a reparation payment to persons who have made plausible allegations of being subjected to sexual or other forms of abuse in Defence.

The Scheme also seeks to recognise individuals who reported abuse and whose cases were then mishandled by Defence management.

Reparation payments are not intended as compensation per se. They are a way of enabling people to move forward.

Payments to individuals will be capped at $50,000, with the amount provided to each complainant determined on a case by case basis taking into account the individual circumstances of the case.

On 30 May 2013 the Attorney-General and I announced that Ms Robyn Kruk AM would be the independent Reparation Payments Assessor.

The making of a Reparation Payment to a person under the Scheme is not intended to affect the statutory, common law or other legal rights of the person. However, a Court or Tribunal may, if it thinks fit, take the making of a Reparation Payment into account in assessing the amount of any damages or compensation otherwise payable to a person under the common law or a Commonwealth, State or Territory Statute.

“ADFA 24” and HMAS Leeuwin

The DLA Piper Review recommended that consideration be given to establishing a Royal Commission to inquire into particular matters, including whether any of the persons who were identified in 1998 as having been suspected of committing rape at ADFA are still in the ADF or whether any persons who allegedly witnessed and did not intervene to prevent these rapes are still in the ADF.

The Taskforce is expressly considering if further investigation through a Royal Commission is required into particular matters identified in the Report of the DLA Piper Review, in particular in relation to ADFA as outlined above and in relation to alleged events at HMAS Leeuwin in the 1960s and 1970s.

The ‘ADFA 24’ is a group of 24 serious allegations of rape from 19 complainants identified in 1998 in the course of the Grey Review (Report of the review into policies and practices to deal with sexual harassment and sexual offences at ADFA), and later in 2011 in the DLA Piper Volume 1 Report.

I asked the Taskforce to prioritise any ADFA 24 cases that came before it, so that it could provide outcomes for the victims and, where possible, identify the perpetrators of the abuse.

In accordance with the long established practice regarding sexual abuse cases, the Taskforce can only assist victims who come forward and consent to their case being assessed.

This ensures that the wishes and welfare of victims are the primary concern. It recognises that a victim might have reasons for not wanting their case to be examined, especially if the abuse occurred a long time ago.

To date only four of the 19 complainants of the so-called ‘ADFA 24’ cases have consented to their complaints being assessed by the Taskforce.

If a victim from the ADFA 24 cases told DLA Piper about their abuse but did not consent to that information coming to the Taskforce, they are still able to provide consent should they decide to do so.

Again, I have asked the Taskforce to follow up with DLA Piper to ensure that any such individual who made a complaint to DLA Piper about the ADFA 24 cases who have not yet given consent are given every opportunity for their complaints to be assessed by the Taskforce. If they provide subsequent consent, their allegations will be assessed by the Taskforce.

The Taskforce however now has an additional 48 complainants alleging incidents of physical abuse, sexual abuse, harassment or bullying at ADFA. The Taskforce is assessing these ADFA cases as well as the HMAS Leeuwin matters reported to it.

At this stage of analysis, several issues are becoming apparent to the Taskforce:

• the allegations of serious abuse at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA are more widespread and persistent than was reported in the 1971 Rapke Report and in the 1998 Grey Review respectively;

• there are not presently sufficient complainants from those training institutions or detailed information to enable all alleged abusers to be properly identified;

• the particular issues which arose at HMAS Leeuwin and ADFA can also be seen at other ADF recruit schools and training institutions; and

• while powers to gather evidence would assist in examining these matters, the Taskforce is currently of the view that it is by no means clear that a Royal Commission is the necessary or the most appropriate mechanism to do so.

Pathway to Change

In March 2012, the then Secretary of the Department of Defence, Mr Duncan Lewis, the Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, and I released the comprehensive Defence response to the Reviews: Pathway to Change.

The Pathway to Change is Defence’s statement of cultural intent and outlines the strategy for achieving that intent over a five-year program. It outlines how the recommendations of the Reviews will be implemented consistent with the wider Defence reform programme.

Pathway to Change also builds on the institutional and personal accountability reforms in Defence to implement the Review of the Defence Accountability Framework (the Black Review) announced in August 2011.

The Black Review was the first comprehensive review to examine personal and institutional accountability in Defence as a whole.

Implementation of the Pathway to Change covers a series of systemic changes, as well as more immediate and specific initiatives. This includes:

• Increasing diversity within leadership groups;

• Fully implementing reforms at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) to address safety and behavior issues at ADFA;

• Applying principles of the ADFA reforms to all new starter training institutes across Defence.

Pathway to Change contains 15 key actions to implement cultural change in Defence, which are being implemented.

These are supported through the implementation of 160 recommendations and advice from the culture reviews and other reforms in Pathway to Change including the recommendations from the Broderick Reviews.

All of these recommendations were agreed or agreed in principle.

Ongoing implementation of the Pathway to Change is critical to ensuring that Defence’s culture meets modern Australian community standards.

That is why the 2013 Defence White Paper has formally embedded this cultural reform program in Defence policy.

It will build on personnel reform initiatives including New Generation Navy, the Army Cultural Framework, and the Air Force New Horizon Program.

As at 12 June 2013, a total of 108 of the Pathway to Change Actions and Defence Review Recommendations have been finalised:

• 6 of 15 key actions have been completed;

• 82 of 160 recommendations have been completed; and

• 20 of 160 recommendations have been overtaken by subsequent activities or reviews or have been addressed through other means.

It is expected that many of the remaining actions and recommendations currently being implemented will be completed over the coming year.

Pathway to Change Key Actions

Six Key Actions have been completed. These include:

• conducting Defence-wide discussion on values and behaviours;

• reviewing our communication strategy, including social media strategy, to communicate the Pathway to Change;

• addressing the backlog of grievances and simplifying responses to and management of unacceptable behaviour to make corrective processes faster and more transparent;

• implementing staffing, structures and review processes that enable the Pathway to Change;

• developing supporting policies to ensure full implementation of recommendations and independent culture reviews and associated reforms; and

• establishing research and data collection processes to inform ongoing development and implementation of Pathway to Change.

Defence Culture Reform Priorities

In addition to the 15 Key Actions, three broad priority areas within the cultural reform program have been identified and are being monitored closely. These are reducing sexual misconduct and unacceptable behaviour; reducing alcohol-related harm; and increasing workforce diversity.

Reducing Sexual Misconduct and Unacceptable Behaviour

Analysis by ADFIS shows that there have been on average 80 reports of sexual assault per year over the last five years.

One case of sexual assault is unacceptable. 80 cases is of grave concern.

Of particular concern is research which indicates that approximately 80 percent of victims do not report their experience.

The number of unacceptable behaviour complaints is also higher than one would want to see, increasing since 2009 in the ADF and Defence more generally. Complaints in the ADF increased from 624 in 2009 to 631 in 2012 and in the Australian Public Service in Defence increased from 124 in 2009 to 180 in 2012. Pathway to Change encourages a reporting culture; one in which people are not afraid to come forward and report unacceptable behaviour in the confidence that it will be dealt with.

Initiatives within Pathway to Change which support those who have experienced sexual misconduct and harassment include:

• a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) has been established to provide timely response and support to victims of sexual misconduct and assault;

• ADFA has established a Residential Support Officers scheme and support options regarding health and wellbeing, sexual or personal abuse and violence; and

• redress and grievance processes are being strengthened.

Reducing Alcohol-related Harm (Hamilton Review)

Drinking and inappropriate behaviour often go hand in hand and we continue to need to understand better how to manage unhealthy drinking cultures.

Defence is making steady progress in implementing recommendations in the Review by Professor Margaret Hamilton, an executive member of the Australian National Council on Drugs, into the overall strategy for managing the use of alcohol in the ADF.

Implementation aims to build the capacity of the ADF to effectively manage alcohol and enhance operational capacity, reduce personal harm and minimise organisational costs.

Implementation has commenced on all eight recommendations, the bulk of which are subject to the comprehensive development of an ADF Alcohol Management Strategy.

Immediate and specific initiatives include:

• the preparation of an evidence-based alcohol management strategy for implementation within Defence;

• Defence to ensure that the pricing of alcohol available at Defence establishments is consistent with the alcohol management strategy;

• Commanders to assess situations in which alcohol is proposed to be used informally or formally, and where specific approval would then be required for the use and access to alcohol within an ADF work location; and

• Defence-funded bar hours on bases have been reduced and a Defence-wide bar operating model is to be issued in July 2013.

Increasing Diversity

Defence is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce and to implementing measures which support the increased representation of, and career pathways for, women.

Recommendations from the reviews being implemented centre around key themes of:

• increasing leadership commitment;

• increasing support and development;

• increasing awareness;

• recruiting strategies; and

• employment conditions, including workplace flexibilities.

These measures build on previous work to increase representation of women in the ADF and we are seeing some gains with the number of women in the ADF increasing gradually over the last six years.

The number of women in the permanent ADF has increased from 6,828 (13.2 percent) at 1 January 2008 to 7,989 (14.2 percent) at 1 April 2013.

The percentage of women recruited to Defence has increased since 2011:

• Navy increased from 21.3 percent in the period 1 Apr 11 – 31 Mar 12, to 22.3 percent in 1 Apr 12 – 31 Mar 13.

• Army increased from 13.2 percent in the period 1 Apr 11 – 31 Mar 12, to 13.8 percent in 1 Apr 12 – 31 Mar 13.

• Air Force increased from 19.7 percent in the period 1 Apr 11 – 31 Mar 12, to 27.5 percent in 1 Apr 12 – 31 Mar 13.

• APS increased from 43.7 percent in the period 1 Apr 11 – 31 Mar 12, to 44.1 percent in 1 Apr 12 – 31 Mar 13.

The proportion of women in the senior leadership group (at Colonel or Executive Level 2 and above) is still lower than we would like, but we are implementing initiatives that will see this increase over time.

An important part of increasing representation of women in Defence is full implementation of the Broderick Reviews into the Treatment of Women in at ADFA and in the ADF.

In addition to implementation of these priority areas, implementation of the full suite of recommendations from each of the cultural reviews is progressing well.

Implementation of the Reviews

The Review of Employment Pathways for APS Women in Defence (McGregor Review)

The review, by Ms Carmel McGregor, examined the effectiveness of current strategies and proposed recommendations across a range of issues regarding employment pathways for Defence APS women.

Recommendations relate to:

• achieving committed leadership support to gender diversity;

• talent management and succession planning initiatives;

• improving workplace flexibilities;

• measures to attract and recruit women to APS roles in Defence; and

• programs to support and develop career pathways for women, in particular, into senior leadership positions.

Work is well progressed in implementing the review’s recommendations. Of the 20 recommendations, 18 have been implemented, including:

• increasing the number of women on senior leadership committees;

• establishing a diversity council and including diversity as a key performance indicator in senior leadership performance agreements;

• establishing a talent management program for Executive Level staff which includes facilitated shadowing and coaching, job rotation and an over-representation of women;

• mandating gender balance on recruitment panels;

• creating senior women’s mentoring and networking initiatives;

• releasing instructions on the financial management of maternity leave provisions for APS staff; and

• establishing an oversight group for the implementation of the review.

Use of Social Media and Defence (Hudson Review)

Mr Rob Hudson, from the external consulting company George Patterson Y & R, led a team to examine the impact of the use of social media in Defence, with the aim of developing measures to ensure that the use of new technologies is consistent with ADF and Defence values.

Four of seven recommendations have been completed, including rewriting Defence’s Social Media policy, establishing an Information Management Steering Committee to ensure a unified strategy across Defence and aligning social media content strategies across Defence.

Management of Incidents and Complaints in Defence (Earley Review)

The Inspector General ADF, Mr Geoff Earley, conducted a review of the management of incidents and complaints in Defence, with specific reference to the treatment of victims, transparency of processes and the jurisdictional interface between military and civil law.

12 recommendations have been implemented and another 14 have been finalised, of which eight recommendations are subject to a broader review into Defence’s investigation, inquiry, review and audit processes.

Immediate and specific initiatives in response to the review include:

• funding was provided as a matter of priority to reduce the grievance backlog of cases;

• training and information provided to ADF members in relation to the management of incidents and complaints is being simplified and improved; and

• Defence’s administrative policies are being amended to provide for administrative suspension from duty, including the circumstances in which a Commander may suspend an ADF member and the conditions which may be imposed on the suspended member.

Review of Personal Conduct of ADF Personnel (Orme Review)

Major General Craig Orme led this review with a focus on assessing the effectiveness of current policies governing ADF conduct, and identifying areas of strength and weakness.

The ADF Personal Conduct Review recommended a culture that is just and inclusive. This has been expanded upon further in Pathway to Change.

Navy, Army and Air Force have substantial programs and initiatives under way which reinforce desired ADF values and behaviours through education and practice.

The Services also continue to improve avenues of communication for members to report concerns about personal conduct through the formal chain of command and through confidential methods of reporting.

Broderick Review Update

Both Phases of the Broderick Review into the treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force are progressing in accordance with agreed timeframes.

The Phase One Review into the treatment of women at ADFA comprises 31 recommendations, of which 24 are fully or partially implemented. The remainder are on track for implementation by December 2014.

The Phase One Review audit by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner’s team occurred from September 2012 to March 2013. This audit report will be released in July 2013. ADFA is now in the process of ensuring lessons learned from the review are implemented across Defence.

The Phase Two Report encompasses the treatment of women across the wider Defence Force. This report was tabled in Parliament in August 2012, and comprises 21 recommendations.

To date, 10 recommendations have been fully implemented, with the remaining recommendations on track.

Broderick Review into the Treatment of Women at ADFA

Phase One of the Broderick Review, into the Treatment of Women at ADFA, was tabled in Parliament in November 2011.

A number of important actions have been completed, including:

• the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) has developed and articulated a clear, statement about diversity, inclusion and gender equality;

• the Chief of the Defence Force has issued a strong statement in support of ADFA and demonstrate a visible commitment to it;

• ADFA has strengthened the capacity of its Equity Advisers’ Network and embedded Equity and Diversity in all policies and practices;

• the tenure of ADFA Commandants is now a minimum of three years and should not be reduced other than in exceptional circumstances;

• as part of their performance reviews, ADFA staff are assessed against their capacity to implement equity and diversity principles and confidential feedback from cadets and peers;

• Residential Support Officers have been appointed to each first year Division who live in the residential block to provide after-hours supervision;

• ADFA has developed a database relating to individual complaints and this is regularly reviewed by the Commandant; and

• ADFA Midshipmen and Cadets have been provided details of a range of support options regarding health and wellbeing, sexual or personal abuse and violence. ADFA has also developed links with external support services.

Broderick Phase 2 Report – Review into the Treatment of Women in the ADF

Phase Two of Ms Broderick’s review, which considered the treatment of women in the ADF generally, and pathways for women into leadership roles in the ADF, was tabled in Parliament in August 2012.

In November 2012, I announced that the Government and Defence had agreed to implement all the recommendations of the Broderick Review into the ADF generally.

Considerable progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Review, with 10 of the 21 having been implemented, including:

• a Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Office (SeMPRO) has been established with the operational launch planned for July this year;

• the Chiefs of Service Committee has issued a Foundation Statement which underpins targeted recruitment and retention activity to ensure the ADF is a high performing and attractive environment where both men and women thrive;

• metrics, measures and data pertaining to women’s participation in the ADF will be included in all future annual Defence reports;

• policies have been reviewed and redesigned to ensure gender diversity on all ADF promotion boards;

• each Service has identified a target aimed at broadening the work background of people available to enter into leadership positions and have identified and committed to a growth target for the recruitment of women;

• all relevant policy and legislative provisions have been reviewed to provide for mandatory assessment of an ADF member’s ability to perform the inherent requirements of their job if convicted of any criminal offence, in particular sexual offence; and

• all policies addressing the waiver of Initial Minimum Provision of Service and Return of Service Obligations amended to ensure that a member who has made a decision to discharge from the ADF because of a sexual assault or harassment is able to do so expeditiously.

Broderick Implementation Audits

The third tranche of the Broderick Review reports includes the implementation audits to be conducted 12 months after the release of the Phase 1 (ADFA) and Phase 2 (ADF) reports.

The Phase 1 implementation audit at ADFA is close to completed and is expected to be released by the Sex Discrimination Commissioner in July 2013.

The Phase 2 implementation audit of the Review into the Treatment of Women in the ADF will commence in August 2013 and is expected to report in early 2014.

Currently the Defence Review Team are conducting additional visits to some ADF initial employment training establishments to gauge the implementation of ADFA reforms that will be applied to other New Starter training and institutions in the ADF.

Parliamentary Oversight

The serious nature of the matters being considered by the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce requires the highest levels of oversight.

This is why I support Parliamentary oversight in the ongoing management of these matters.

This has already commenced with the establishment of the Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into the Report of the Review of allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence, conducted by DLA Piper, and the response of the Government to the Review. The Report of this Inquiry is expected on 27 June.

In the context of this Report I propose to discuss with the Chair of the Committee how ongoing Parliamentary oversight of the management of allegations of abuse in Defence and implementation of cultural change in Defence can be effected.

Conclusion

Implementation of Pathway to Change, the Broderick Reviews and the work of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce are all essential to ensuring that Defence continues to serve Australia’s national interests in a way that is consistent with modern community standards.

This includes standards in Defence culture and everyday personal behaviour.

Full implementation of the range of cultural reforms is essential to preventing future occurrences of inappropriate conduct and ensuring a zero tolerance response is adopted and implemented if it does occur.

This requires ongoing attention and oversight from the highest levels.

The Government and the Defence leadership are absolutely committed to pursuing the reforms necessary to ensure zero tolerance of inappropriate conduct.