Inspections may be initiated by the Tribunal or the parties when it is considered that a practical review of work performed by ADF members will be critical to the Tribunal’s understanding of a particular matter. Inspections are most beneficial in assisting the Tribunal to reach decisions because they allow Tribunal members to witness firsthand, albeit in a limited way, the working and living conditions of ADF members across a range of employment categories and localities. The ADF and Commonwealth parties, as well as the Secretariat Advisor, normally accompany the Tribunal on inspections..
RAAF Base Amberley 23 September 2019
On 23 September 2019 the Tribunal conducted an inspection in relation to Matters 6 and 9 of 2019 - Air Force: Network Technician employment category and Security employment category streams respectively at RAAF Base Amberley. At the same time, while at the base, they took the opportunity to conduct a familiarisation visit in relation to Matter 8 of 2019 - Army - Construction engineer employment categories.
In support of Matter 6 of 2019 the Tribunal visited 1 Combat Communications Squadron where they had the opportunity to view the components of a deployable communications suite and speak to members who operate the equipment. The Tribunal also witnessed a mobile communications suite set up within a C17A Globemaster III where aircrew briefed them on the integration of the Network Technician role. This brief outlined how the Network Technicians assimilate with the pilots in preparing and programming the aircraft systems for the flight as well as downloading and analysing post flight mission data for debriefing and reporting.
During the visit to Amberley the Tribunal took the opportunity to visit 6th Engineer Support Regiment (6ESR) in relation to Matter 8 of 2019 where they were briefed on the complexity of the roles of the Regiment. This included hearing about the provision of rapid humanitarian and disaster relief operations both domestically and regionally; reconstruction for long-term stability operations and disaster relief assistance; indigenous training; and advice and assistance missions for long-term development of regional and internation partner forces. Members of 6ESR demonstrated their roles and skills across drafting, surveying and excavation. The Tribunal also met with 6ESR members who were carpenters, electricians and plumbers where they heard about the experiences of domestic and overseas missions and in particular the cross-skilling of the roles.
In regard to Matter 9 of 2019 the Tribunal were briefed on contemporary security skilling and awareness. A demonstration of a security patrol team, where a dog and handler dealt with an 'intruder' was held, as well as a demonstration of de-escalation techniques when dealing with non-compliant persons. The Tribunal also witnessed an explosive detection dog activity. The Tribunal enjoyed meeting one of the younger dog recruits - a five month old Belgian Malinois puppy - as well as meeting the members of a Security Operations Team. The Tribunal toured the Security Operations Centre and learnt of the responsibilities of members of the Protective Security stream as well as the Command Post Simulator where they were briefed on protective security elements and surveillance systems.