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..
The Tribunal attended an inspection at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills on 10 April 2014. This inspection was in support of Matter 16 of 2013 and related specifically to the components of the allowance for specialist operations and the unpredictable explosives allowance. The Directorate of Explosive Ordnance Service, 1 Security Forces Squadron and the School of Military Engineering provided a series of presentations and displays to demonstrate the range of duties associated with eligibility for these allowances.
During the day the inspection party was escorted to a variety of displays of explosive ordnance equipment. At each display members of the units gave briefs, conducted demonstrations and answered the Tribunal's questions. Each presentation included a description of the equipment with examples of its use in domestic and overseas operational environments.
Demonstrations of roles were also carried out at a range of training sites; these included instruction scenarios of high risk searches, sub-surface unexploded ordnance searches and searches of military aircraft crash sites. Examples of demolition serials and render safe operations were also conducted during the inspection.
Inspection party members (L to R: the Hon. Anne Harrison, the Hon. Arch Bevis and Defence Force Advocate Mr Richard Kenzie AM QC) being briefed on explosive ordnance equipment.
All the demonstrations and displays highlighted the extreme stressors, physical risks and hazards of search roles and the fact that, despite the sophisticated equipment, operator skill remains the major factor in the success of these tasks.
Inspection party members (L to R: the Hon. Arch Bevis, Defence Force Advocate Mr Richard Kenzie AM QC and the Hon. Anne Harrison) reviewing a training search for improvised explosive devices.