Home' Defence Magazine : Issue 1 2009 Contents 8
Support Group that now consists of about 70
personnel, including seven heavy plant machines,
two chainsaw sections and logistics support, is
assisting with fire containment measures, re-
opening of roads and fire fighting measures around
the Victorian town of Yea.
A Primary Health Care Team is providing
medical support for deployed Defence personnel in
Tarralgan and Flowerdale.
Joining them were four Defence search teams
headquartered in Kilmore assisting fire crews
in searching on foot across rough terrain, and a
qualified officer to help with the coordination of
aerial reconnaissance operations. An Air Force
AP-3C Orion aircraft also assisted in the search for
households affected by the fires in remote areas.
The Minister for Defence, the Hon. Joel
Fitzgibbon, visited the bushfire area on 10 February
and reaffirmed the Prime Minister’s commitment
to do all possible to help the Victorian Government
and the local communities affected by the disaster.
“This support is tangible evidence that the
Victorian tragedy has drawn a national response
and the role of the Navy, Army and Air Force is to
provide whatever support is required in this time of
need,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Shortly after the initial reports of devastation,
the ADF deployed heavy earth-moving equipment
and approximately 70 personnel to the vital task of
building fire-breaks. They also constructed close to
100 kms of containment lines within a week of the
Defence Magazine will feature more extensive
articles on the Victorian bushfire disaster in the
Same-sex discrimination will be removed
from a range of Commonwealth laws
relevant to ADF members by 1 July 2009.
The changes will remove discrimination
in areas including social security, taxation,
Medicare, veteran’s affairs, workers’
compensation, and educational assistance.
The changes made by the Same-
Sex Relationships (Equal Treatment in
Commonwealth Laws – Superannuation) Act
2008 ensure that same-sex couples are no
longer denied the payment of death benefits
from superannuation schemes, or the tax
concessions on death benefits, currently made
available to opposite-sex couples.
According to Attorney-General Robert
McClelland, this legislation makes a practical
difference to the everyday lives of the
Australians and their families who have suffered
discrimination under Commonwealth laws.
“Removing discrimination is about making
sure that same-sex couples and their families
are recognised for all practical purposes and
have the same entitlements as opposite-sex de
facto couples,” Mr McClelland said.
for more, visit www.ag.gov.au
The first Australian-assembled Multi
Role Helicopter (MRH90) has been
formally accepted at the Australian
Aerospace facility in Brisbane.
Parliamentary Secretary for Defence
Procurement The Hon. Greg Combet, MP, said that
under Project AIR 9000, a total of 46 MRH90s are
being procured to replace the Navy’s Sea King
and Army’s Black Hawk fleets as well as provide
additional air-mobile support to Army.
“This is the fifth MRH90 to be accepted,”
Mr Combet said. “The first four aircraft were
manufactured in France, air transported to
Australia and are now based in Townsville with
the 5th Aviation Regiment for training,”
“The acceptance of the first Australian-
assembled MRH90 is a result of the extensive
work done by the DMO, many contractors and
project personnel within a tight timeframe.
“Acceptance of the first Australian
assembled MRH90, in addition to recent
acceptance of the fourth aircraft from France,
will enable an increase in the training rate for
aircrew in Navy and Army.
The MRH 90 is the first fly-by-wire production
helicopter in the world; it is equipped with a
Forward Looking Infra Red System, advanced
weather radar and has the same helmet-
mounted sight and display as the Tiger Armed
“It has a larger cabin and greater endurance
and speed than the current troop lift aircraft in
ADF service,” Mr Combet said.
New home for
ACt Public sector
After 16 years with Defence, the running
of the Public Sector Management (PSM)
Program in the ACT has moved to the
Australian Public Service Commission
The PSM Program is a unique joint venture
between Commonwealth, State and Territory
Governments that delivers contemporary public
lefT: At the handover of the Public sector Management Program to the Australian Public service
commission (APsc) is, from left: Peter Hansen (climate change, Water, environment and Arts),
Karen Kentwell (Manager national secretariat, APsc), Jacqui curtis (new chair local leadership
group), Air commodore Ian Pearson (outgoing chair AcT llg), Melinda Kopilow (new manager
AcT PsM Program, APsc) and stephen grieve (Veterans Affairs).
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