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..
51 Regional Forces Surveillance Unit
On 5 June 2014 the Tribunal visited 51 Far North Queensland Regiment to conduct an inspection of a proposed new Army employment category, Combat Support Operator. The Commanding Officers and Regimental Sergeant Majors from all three Regional Force Surveillance Units also attended and briefed the Tribunal on the units' roles and organisation. The Tribunal heard how the category will enable these units to better utilise the skills of the local and Indigenous populations in remote areas and provide support across four skills: administration, driver, storeman and cook.
The Tribunal had the opportunity to meet with Indigenous soldiers currently working in Regional Force Surveillance Units and heard how the proposed category would offer broader employment opportunities to Indigenous Australians, particularly women and those who live in remote areas.
The Commanding Officers informed the Tribunal members that the proposal had been very positively received by the Indigenous and local communities and that there were a significant number of applicants waiting for the opportunity to commence training.
Tribunal members the Hon. Anne Harrison and the Hon. Arch Bevis, along with ADF and Commonwealth advocates and staff from the Directorate of Military Remuneration, receiving a briefing on the role of the Combat Support Officer in field operations and catering roles during their visit to 51 Far North Queensland Regiment.