NAVY LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA - VICTORIA DIVISION P.O.Box 1303 Box Hill, Victoria 3128

The Navy League of Australia is committed to providing loyal support for Australia's maritime well being by:
Keeping before the Australian people the fact that we are an island maritime nation and that a strong Navy and a sound maritime industry are indispensable elements of our present and future industrial well being, which is so vital to the freedom of Australia.
. Maintaining a forum for the better understanding of our Federation history and the part that Australia's maritime entities have, and are still playing, in protecting and supporting Australia's ongoing development in this part of our world.
Promoting defence self reliance by actively supporting manufacturing, shipping, transport and allied industries in Australia.
Promoting, sponsoring and encouraging the interest of Australian youth in the sea, sea-services, practical sea-training through direct support, educational programmes and encouraging a healthy interest in the traditions and customs of the sea.
Maintaining contacts and co-operating with other Navy Leagues and other Maritime based bodies so that sponsoring of exchange programmes for young peoples' Naval Sea Cadet group training, can be facilitated.

Defence Efficiency Reforms
The Government 1997 Defence Efficiency Reforms caused considerable concern at the time about the way in which this process was commissioned -
* the incomplete nature of some sections,
* appearance of being hastily implemented,
* unilateral adoption by a Government Minister
*
avoidance of any debate in Federal Parliament
* no time allowed for public comment prioir to its adoption by public service.
The explanation for this process at that time was that as it was an "Efficiency Reform" it did not need to go before Parliament. There are some who consider that this was splitting straws as the process involved wide ranging 'reorganisation of the entire defence' system.
Indeed it gave the appearance of being so far reaching that this particular aspect raised concerns that future processes of this nature should be considered by parliament before any decision to implement is taken. To use the word 'efficiency' as a reason for not having Parliament approve the direction taken gives a clear indication that the federal public service deliberately avoided parliamentary debate by devious methods that were clearly supported by a government minister.

Constitutional Protection for the Citizens of Australia
With the downgrading of the command responsibilities of the three separate defence Chiefs - Navy, Army and Air Force by making them subservient to a single Chief of the Defence Force Staff and the introduction of a central defence structure came changes that are unconstitutional.
The Minister for Defence & Secretary for Defence have taken it upon themselves to state they command the defence force, setting aside the requirements of the Australian Constitution where the Commander in Chief of the Naval and Military Forces of the Commonwealth is constitutionally vested in the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia.
No action by a Government Minister, Public servant or the Federal Parliament or any Chiefs of the Defence Force can alter that constitutional fact.
This situation is alarming in that it signals that Governemnt Ministers and some Federal Public servants are mutinying against the Constitution.

It is no surprise that elected politicians and public servants do not like the constraints of our constitution which acts as the bench mark for their behaviour and actions.
It provides the ultimate degree of security for Australians under constitutional law that all citizens expect as a protection against extreme actions by politicians and public servants who think they know better than what our contitution allows them to do.
Only successful constitutional referendums can change the requirements of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia not papers on Command presented by ex Governor Generals wanting to avoid their Constitutional responsibility.
It is clear that unconstitutional actions should be made punishable by heavy fines and long terms in gaol for conspiring to overturn the requirements of the Constitution.

Defence Force Reserves Awards - This matter concerns members of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve (RANR) and has been considered by the Navy League Division Committee. A Permanent Service personnel special committee set up in 1994 examined awards and recommended cancellation of Australian Reserve Forces Awards introduced by the Fraser Liberal Government in 1982 to replace the National Medal and thee British Commonwealth Awards.
To understand some of the principles resulting in the issue of the new Australian Reserve Forces Awards in 1982 it is necessary to go back a few years. A special Reserve Forces Awards committee, comprising an Army Reserve Brigadier, an Air Force Reserve Squadron Leader and a Royal Australian Naval Reserve Lieutenant-Commander (the NLA Vic Division President), was formed in the late 1970s to co-ordinate the debate on the unilateral loss of joint UK/AUST traditional Reserve Forces decorations and medals thrown out by Gough Whitlam in February 1975, the RD (Naval Reserve Decoration), ED (Army Efficiency Decoration) and AEA (Air Efficiency Award), LSGCM (Naval Long Service & Good Conduct Medal). Many petitions were subsequently received from Australia wide from Reserve forces personnel and submitted to Federal Parliament's both houses. Prime Minister, The Hon.Malcolm Fraser, finally acted in 1982, after all government backbenchers had, for about the third time, unanimously supported the Reserves fight for their own Australian medals. Prime Minister Fraser instituted two new Australian Awards, RFD the (Reserve Forces Decoration) and the RFM (Reserve Forces Medal), in place of those unilaterally discarded during Gough Whitlam's term of office. The career uniformed Defence personnel in pushing the 'one service' concept incorrectly equate their career service as being identical to that of Reservists and therefore argue that the RFD and RFM are not applicable and that a common award must apply to everyone, 'Permanent' and 'Reserve'. The career Naval & Military personnel appear to have arrived at this decision without any real recognition of the dedicated Volunteer service of Reservists in support of the Defence of Australia carried out in their own spare time in addition to their full time professional civil employment.
So it is clear that the 'Reserve' service is fundamentally different as the 'volunteer' spare time second career aspect is the prime consideration.
The concept of Citizens' Naval & Military Reserves' training in their spare time in addition to their professional employment has always received basic Government support in order to encourage cost effective trained Reserve Force, Navy, Army & Air Force Reserves.
The removal of the Reserve Force Awards was a petty act and a clear indication that the career defence force lacks an understanding of the contribution that volunteer Reserve forces play in support of defence in this country.
The Navy League of Australia Victoria Division calls for the immediate restoration of the Reserve Force Awards back into the Australian Awards list.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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