27 January 2011


"The (defence) command structure down has zero tolerance for such unacceptable behaviour."

Sex shame of HMAS Success sinks navy reputation

HMAS Success
Ship of shame ... HMAS Success

A JUDICIAL inquiry into the navy's ship of sex shame HMAS Success uncovered a "tribal" culture of bullying, sex, drug and alcohol abuse and high-level incompetence.

The Gillard Government has refused to release the damning report by retired judge Roger Gyles QC that has so far cost taxpayers more than $4 million.

The 400-page HMAS Success Commission of Inquiry report was delivered to defence boss Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston earlier this month and passed to Defence Minister Stephen Smith on Sunday.

Mr Gyles, who is being paid $7700 a day to conduct the inquiry, was given an extra six months to produce part two of his report dealing with wider issues and recommendations.

It is understood the first part is highly critical of the navy's high command and how the allegations of sexual ledgers, bullying, drunkenness and sexual misconduct on the navy's largest ship were dealt with by senior officers.

Those allegations included public sex acts in Asian bars, intimidation, drunken attacks on private property and sexual misconduct between senior male officers and junior female officers. Both Mr Smith and ACM Houston yesterday expressed grave concerns about the contents of the report.

Mr Smith said it raised "very concerning" matters of discipline and "so-called tribal culture".

"[The report] doesn't make good reading, either about the suggestions of individual conduct or the suggestions of discipline," Mr Smith said.

"The report goes to not just individual conduct, on and off the ships, but also goes to matters of discipline, goes to matters of authority."

Mr Smith said humans weren't perfect but that bad behaviour should not become institutional.

He refused to release the Gyles Report on the grounds of due process.

Hinting at the seriousness of the findings, ACM Houston said it would take "some time" to analyse the report and to decide what to do about it.

ACM Houston will brief a Senate Committee into the HMAS Success matter when Parliament resumes.


No comments:

Post a Comment