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DART submission cut off date should be abolished

DART submission cut off date should be abolished.

Senator Elect for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie has called on the Federal Government to abolish the cut-off date for submissions to the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) and ensure that the hearings continue indefinitely.

“I’m very concerned that many victims of Defence abuse will be denied a fair chance to have their claims officially heard and processed because – as indicated on the DART website: ( http://www.defenceabusetaskforce.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx )
The cut-off date for providing all relevant information and documentation to the Taskforce has now passed.”

“ It’s clear from information that’s become public and information I’ve received privately (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBk5HeGg6-U ) that abuse, including sexual abuse in Australia’s Defence Force is an intractable problem, which is far more serious than most people would have realized.

I want Prime Minister Abbott to support my call to allow the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce (DART) to indefinitely continue its good work. The endemic culture of abuse in our ADF will only be properly addressed and corrected - if a permanent, strong deterrent is put in place – in other words the DART must be left open for business permanently.” said Senator Elect Lambie.

“It’s also clear that a culture over cover-up at a very high level in our Defence Force has stopped abuse victims from speaking out and receiving a fair hearing, as well as justice. Those in our military who have covered up these assaults or crimes and deliberately turned a blind eye - should also be held to account, just as much as those who are guilty of the assaults.

The poisonous influence of those senior ranks in our ADF who chose in the past to turn a blind eye to criminal acts and effectively did nothing, should not be allowed to dishonor and undermine confidence in our ADF.” Senator Elect Lambie said.

ENDS

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