Probe Into Defence Award Injustices

Type of post: Profile news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: John Verhelst
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, 11 Jan 2023
Defence force personnel who have been improperly denied honours and awards will be the focus of a new national investigation.

The Abbott government has tasked the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal to conduct a full inquiry into "refused, withheld and forfeited" honours and awards.

Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Darren Chester says the tribunal will examine the period from the beginning of World War II to the present day.

"Recent work of the tribunal has indicated that many of the decisions taken to withhold the medallic entitlements of our veterans who served in the Second World War and later conflicts were of doubtful legal validity," Mr Chester said.

"I expect the tribunal to report back to government on the correct and preferable way to address any injustices it encounters in the course of its investigations."

Submissions to the inquiry will close February 28.

RSL national secretary John King welcomed a review into the honours and awards system.

"It's timely to look at this in the big context," he said.

Mr King said that some awards had become dated but others had been applied with too much rigidity, meaning some personnel had missed out.

He added that the changing role of the ADF, through peacekeeping roles, border security operations and use of contractors meant that some award categories may need to be expanded.

Source: AAP, with Judith Ireland