Receipt of Part One of the report of the HMAS Success Commission of Inquiry
25 January 2011
The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, has received Part One of the report of the HMAS Success Commission of Inquiry concerning alleged incidents of unacceptable behaviour involving members of the crew of HMAS Successbetween March and May 2009.
“I have received from the President of the HMAS Success Commission of Inquiry, the Hon Roger Gyles AO QC, Part One of the final report. The title of Part One is ‘The Asian Deployment and Immediate Aftermath’,” Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
Part One of the report is approximately 400 pages in length, and deals with a complex set of circumstances and issues that arose from events onboard HMAS Successduring the period of March to May 2009 when the ship was deployed to the Philippines, China, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“On my very quick review, it is clear to me that the report raises very serious issues, including in relation to questions about individual accountability but also broader cultural and institutional issues and concerns. It is going to take time to analyse and understand the detail of the findings and conclusions,”Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
“I expect to receive the balance of the report dealing with the remaining matters within the Commission of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference from Mr Gyles by mid-2011.
“At my request, the second part of the report will include consideration of how we conduct administrative inquiries within the Australian Defence Force and possible improvements to our inquiry and related processes.”
Air Chief Marshal Houston said a copy of Part One of the report was provided to the Minister for Defence over the weekend.
“Under the relevant regulations, only the Minister can authorise the public release of Defence inquiry reports. The Minister has now received the report. He will in due course make a decision on the public release of the report in whole or part,”Air Chief Marshal Houston said.
Mr Gyles is a former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia who, since retiring from that court, also served as an acting Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Court of Appeal. Mr Gyles was appointed by Air Chief Marshal Houston as President of the HMAS Success Commission of Inquiry on 9 March 2010.
The Commission of Inquiry’s Terms of Reference are available at: www.defence.gov.au/coi.