Hit by sex scandal, Oz defence culture in review

Defence brass argued the scandal did not indicate a wider sexist culture.

Updated: Apr 11, 2011, 10:42 AM IST

Melbourne: Australian government is
likely to announce review of its defence force `culture` over
the handling of a complaint by an 18-year-old female cadet
whose sexual encounter with a male colleague was broadcast
over Skype without her knowledge.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith, according to media
reports, is expected to announce the review and reveal that
the Australian Defence Force Academy commandant is to step
down temporarily.

The minister wanted heads to roll but Defence brass
argued that the scandal was not indicative of a wider sexist
and abusive culture.

Reports said that military law expert, Andrew Kirkham,
QC, is set to head an independent review of Defence culture.

A federal police investigation is also under way into
whether laws were breached when the male cadet broadcast the
sexual encounter without his female colleague`s consent.

The Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus
Houston attended a morning meeting with Smith at Parliament
House in Canberra today.

Despite initial Defence Force resistance to forcing
Commodore Bruce Kafer to step down, the academy chief is now
expected to take a leave of absence while the review is
undertaken, which could take several months.

Smith will hold a press conference this afternoon to
announce these decisions officially.