Court Martial on inappropriate behaviour allegations

Published on Royal Australian Navy (author)

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Today there have been reports in the media about the proceedings of a General Court Martial regarding allegations of inappropriate behaviour that occurred in HMAS Newcastle in 2011.
 
The allegations raised are serious, and following investigation by the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service, the Directorate of Military Prosecutions determined to charge four sailors with a range of offences under the Defence Force Discipline Act. Those charges are now under scrutiny in the Court Martial proceedings which will provide due process.
 
Deputy Chief of Navy and Head of Navy People and Resources, Rear Admiral Michael van Balen, RAN, reiterated Navy’s position on allegations of this nature.
 
“Be assured that allegations of unacceptable behaviour have been, and will continue to be investigated when they come to light. Navy remains committed to an inclusive and professional culture, that promotes teamwork, cohesion and respect,” he said.
 
“I encourage any member of Navy who has been subjected to or witnessed unacceptable behaviour to report it to their Command so that action can be initiated and appropriate support can be provided to all involved.”
 
Navy has been completely transparent in providing public information regarding the Newcastle matter, issuing media releases on 11 June 2014 and 27 June 2014.
 
The open Court Martial is another step to ensure that people both within Navy and in the broader community are aware that behaviour such as is alleged is not tolerated in the Royal Australian Navy nor the Australian Defence Force.
 
The matter is currently the subject of legal proceedings scheduled to conclude on 3 October.