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..
HMA Ships Melbourne, Choules and Albany
Three days of inspections were held as part of Matter 24 of 2012, Review of Seagoing Allowance and Submarine Sea Going Allowance. The Tribunal members conducted inspections of HMA Ships Melbourne, Choules and Albany and Army's amphibious units, in order to further inform them of the complexities of the ADF submission. Matter 24 of 2012 was still in progress at the end of the 2012/13 financial year.
Day 1 – HMAS Melbourne
The party observed HMAS Melbourne during a pre-deployment workup. Under the direction of the Sea Training Group (STG) the crew were undergoing exercises designed to assess their readiness for deployment.
Tribunal President the Hon. Anne Harrison and Member the Hon. Arch Bevis being kitted out in safety gear aboard HMAS Melbourne during an inspection to inform the review of ADF Maritime Allowances.
The inspection showed the conditions on board a Major Fleet Unit and highlighted the conditions and intensity of the work conducted by the STG who are engaged in intense and unrelenting work involving fire, damage control and other simulated exercises.
A tour of the accommodation areas showed the bunks and locker facilities for the ship's crew, and the ad-hoc arrangements in place for STG when on board.
Day 2 – HMAS Choules
This day concentrated on the impact of the proposal on Army members. The party met with the Ships Army Detachment, embarked Army forces, and the Amphibious Ready Element as well as the crew of Choules and STG members. The ship's landing craft transported the members of the Tribunal to HMAS Choules.
Tribunal Members, the Hon Arch Bevis and BRIG Bill Rolfe AO (Ret'd), receive a briefing onboard HMAS Choules
Day 3 – HMAS Albany
On the final day of the inspections the Tribunal members embarked in HMAS Albany crewed at that time by Attack 1. This exposed the Tribunal to the conditions on board Minor War Vessels and they witnessed the crew being assessed for force assignment. A mock boarding was also demonstrated.
The mock boarding exercise being demonstrated for the Tribunal members by Attack 1 crew, HMAS Albany