Injured People

Apology, military compensation for Australian Defence Force abuse victims welcomed

TGB's Tim White has welcomed the federal government’s response to widespread allegations of abuse within the Australian Defence Force.

TGB’s Tim White has welcomed the federal government’s response to widespread allegations of abuse within the Australian Defence Force.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith today apologised to victims, launched a compensation scheme and established a taskforce to continue investigations.

Mr White, whose law firm represents members of the Australian Defence Force who have been injured and abused, said today’s announcement is a major step towards breaking the culture of abuse within the ADF.

“In the defence force there is a long history of victimisation, and while an apology and compensation doesn’t undo the damage, it certainly shows that the federal government is serious about supporting the people affected,” Mr White said.

Mr White said many hundreds of defence force personnel may be entitled to compensation under the new fund, where payouts would be capped at $50,000.

“We are yet to see details about how the awards for compensation will be assessed and determined, but the limit is similar to other statutory schemes such as the Victims of Crime fund,” he said.

“Since the release of the DLA Piper Report into allegations of abuse we have seen an increase in enquiries from former and current ADF members looking to find out their rights, and we expect that to continue.”

A judicial inquiry is also set to be launched, which is likely to involve hundreds of people giving evidence.

“It will bring to light many of the damaging incidents that occurred over many years, and while it will in many ways be painful, it will allow the events to be properly investigated and give victims an opportunity to be heard,” Mr White said.

Tindall Gask Bentley is South Australia’s largest personal injury law firm, and can assist former and current Australian defence force members from all over the country. Click here to register your claim for compensation or call (08) 8212 1077. 

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