21 February 2012

MINDEF provides statement to The Australian regarding the Kirkham Inquiry

Australian Minister of Defence, Stephen Smith, MP released the below statement on 19 February 2011 to The Australian:

"On December 22 2011, I announced that a copy of the Kirkham Inquiry report was provided to me on 13 December following its formal submission to the Chief of Air Force (the appointing Officer).‬‪

The report is a detailed review of the management of the ADFA Skype Incident of 2011 and its aftermath.‬‪

I also indicated at the time that the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, who is responsible for ADFA, was considering the report and its recommendations, and that exhaustive consideration of the report would take some time.‬‪

In the intervening period, the Vice Chief of the Defence Force and the Chief of Air Force have provided further advice to me on this complex and sensitive subject matter.‬‪ ‬‪

This advice covers matters such as obligations to consult interested parties, legal and policy issues involved in any public disclosure and any actions arising from the inquiry.

That process is ongoing, and the Chief of the Defence Force, the Secretary of Defence and I are currently considering the advice.

Any action, including public release of Mr Kirkham’s report, depends on this consideration, which, as I indicated earlier this week, is drawing to a conclusion.‬‪

I anticipate a conclusion to this process in the next few weeks.‬‪ In the meantime, it is not appropriate to deal piecemeal with individual aspects of the matter or speculate on the outcomes of the process."

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