RCB Update 3/2020 – More Steps in the Right Direction

Arising from the Tribunal’s decision and findings we took the following actions:

  1. Applied to the Federal Court to seek extension to the 28 days in which to make application for our case.
  2. Wrote to Minister Chester to approve hazardous Service.

After detailed analysis of various factors including legal jurisdiction and financial we decided to withdraw from any legal appeal of the DHAAT’s decision in the Federal Court. Our decision does not prejudice legal action(s) in other jurisdictions.

Of the Tribunal’s decision we noted that:

  1. It was not based on the criteria for warlike service existing in the period 1970 – 1989 but on that established later in 1993 and 2018; and
  2. It did not consider application of the Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Act 1963 which we had been told in 2007 was the applicable Act.

These will be key points for legal/political action in the future.

Letters to Minister Chester

Minister Chester

This letter to Chester dated 29 May 2020 has not been acknowledged nor answered.

Dear Minister,

As you know the Tribunal affirmed the decision of the Directorate of Honours and Awards of the Department of Defence to not recommend me for the Australian Active Service Medal.

And in the Tribunal’s further consideration of my request of a recommendation that the Minister advise the Governor-General that service at Air Base Butterworth for the period in question be declared ‘warlike’, it came to a number of conclusions and findings that RCB service was hazardous pursuant to Sect 120 of the Veterans Entitlement Act and not warlike nor peacetime service.

Minister, you will recall RCB’s claim’s history starting with its 2006 submission (18/8/2006) to Defence Minister sought the reclassification of its service from peacetime to warlike and Assistant Defence Minister Billson’s decision after assessment by the Nature of Service Review Team, (vide Minister Billson (04/10/2007)) to declare RCB service as hazardous pursuant to Sect 120 of the Veterans Entitlement Act. In 2009 it was found that the Minister’s decision’s instruments were never registered by Defence nor promulgated. When this error was revealed to Defence it had NOSB conduct another review that the then Defence Minister accepted and overturned the 2007 decision reverting RCB service classification to peacetime.

This initiated the RCB Review Group’s involvement in the Defence Department’s grievance process: involving numerous submissions and taking it through the DHAAT, House of Representatives Petitions Committee and Hearings, the Defence Ombudsman, further internal Defence Reviews and finally your invitation to what transpired to be the “infamous false meeting” in Parliament House with your Defence (NOSB) advisors on 26th November 2018 and on the following day the meeting with yourself which was regretfully interrupted by House business. Through this whole process and despite the evidence presented Defence could not be dissuaded from their decision that RCB service was peacetime. 

Minister, now given the Tribunal’s findings we invite you to give full effect to upgrading RCB’s service to hazardous.

Yours sincerely,

Ray Fulcher
Chairman RCB Review Group
Date: 29 May 2020

On the 7th July 2020 a further request from Ray Fulcher “when might I anticipate a response from Minister Chester” was sent.

Chester’s office claimed that the correspondence had been overlooked but would be brought to the Minister’s attention. As at today’s date no response has been received. Ray continues to pursue this matter.

Is this a natural and fair process?

Continuous Actions

We will continue our direct-action strategies to fight for our individual fundamental rights to the truth and to challenge a decision.
For RCB veterans that is their right to expose both the truth of their service Deception to the Australian people and the unfair process applied to their challenge to the Government’s decision, via all means.

The Truth – “The search for truth takes you where the evidence leads you”

Our search for the truth of the Deception took us to the Government’s and Defence Department’s own official documents including over 170 past secret and one past top secret. Yet, in our challenge we have been denied fair process as required in the relevant Ministerial standards and codes of ethics and conduct.

In this whole process Defence has maintained that RCB service was peacetime and have denied us the right to challenge it through a fair and just process that would allow us to:

  • meet with the Minister and his Defence Nature of Service Departmental advisors,
  • allow us to challenge the evidence given by other parties in Parliament, at Tribunals and Petition Committees’ Hearings, and
  • independent third-party mediation.  

What we have experienced has been a Government complaints process that did not “…act with due regard for integrity, fairness, accountability, responsibility, and the public interest, as required by the PM’s Ministerial standards”  And we have the evidenceto support it.

Those Standards state that Ministers are entrusted with considerable privilege and wide discretionary power. In recognition that public office is a public trust, therefore, the people of Australia are entitled to expect that, as a matter of principle, Ministers will act with due regard for integrity, fairness, accountability, responsibility, and the public interest, as required by these Standards”.

While the Covid 19 pandemic has the Government and our nations undivided attention we will concentrate on preparatory action for implementation with a co-ordinated national social media  campaign when the time is right. In the meantime, please keep the matter alive in contact with your Federal MP.

Thanks for your commitment, continued patience and support. Stay in touch here 

Ray Fulcher
RCB Service 1979
Chairman RCB Review Group
Date: 13 August 2020

The RCB Review Group

(the dates record their years of military service)

Robert Cross
(1972 – 1999)
Phill Wolfenden
(1970 – 1993)
Stan Hannaford
(1972- 2001)
Gary Stone
(1970 – 2017)
Russell Linwood
(1970 – 2017)
Mike von Berg
(1962 – 1974)
Mike Dennis (decd)
Peter Kelly
(1972 – 1997)
Ray Fulcher
(1974 – 1980)
Ken Marsh (RAAF)
(1967 – 1987)
Ted Chitham
(1955 – 1977)
Mark Matthews

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