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National military compensation law firm, Slater and Gordon, has welcomed the referral of the sexual and other abuse report into the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to the Senate’s foreign affairs, defence and trade reference committee, and has called on the government to act immediately to respond to serious allegations and compensate victims of abuse.
Leading military compensation lawyer, Brian Briggs, who spoke to hundreds of current and former defence personnel during the review, said he is constantly contacted by members who are becoming increasingly frustrated at the inaction of the department.
“Members and ex-members are telling me they feel ignored and let down. Many still haven’t been contacted to confirm if they’re part of the 700 ‘plausible’ cases outlined in the second report,” Mr Briggs said.
“It’s time this report is released and scrutinised, and to get to the bottom of why a multi-million dollar report has had not been acted on.
“I’ve said from the start, the first thing the government can do is apologise to victims of past abuse.
Mr Briggs also urged the government to consider how they will compensate victims of past abuse, which date back as early as the 1950s.
“The only way to guarantee justice for all victims of military abuse is to put in place an ex-gratia scheme to compensate historical abuse cases,” he said.
“The government’s response to this report needs to be heard immediately.”