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..
Matter 7 of 2018 - Maritime Allowances Inspection
The Tribunal conducted an inspection in Sydney on 24 and 25 October 2018 and visited Fleet Base East, HMA Ships Canberra, Newcastle, Yarra, Kuttabul and Waterhen.
During the inspection the Tribunal were briefed on Navy's workforce challenges and heard first-hand about the levels of disability and hardship associated with serving at sea. The inspection allowed the Tribunal members to review the hardships across the diversity of the Fleet units and to consider the differing rates of maritime disability allowances first determined in 2014. The Tribunal also inspected the physical conditions and the impact of serving in a ship in refit during their inspection onboard Newcastle.
Overall the Tribunal were given a greater understanding of the context of maritime allowances in the current operational environment and the challenges faced by Navy across the workforce along with expectations of work life balance and the conditions of service at sea.
While onboard Canberra the Tribunal also took the opportunity to consider further aspects of Matter 6 of 2018 - ADF Rotary Wing aviation officers, were briefed on the role of aviation warfare officers, and met with the aircrew.