Comcare has accepted a Court-enforceable Undertaking from the Chief of Army, Australian Army in relation to an alleged failure by the Australian Army to observe its duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991 (the Act). The Undertaking is a legally enforceable commitment by the Chief of Army which has been accepted by Comcare as an alternative to Comcare pursuing civil proceedings against the Chief of Army in relation to the alleged breach of the Act.
The Undertaking follows an investigation by Comcare into an incident, which occurred on 30 March 2007, when six Australian Army Cadets, during the course of a navigation exercise, failed to return to their camp site by the designated arrival time that day. The Australian Army Cadet section (the lost section) was not located during searches by Australian Army Cadet staff and was still unaccounted for by first light on 31 March 2007. Subsequently, on the morning of 31 March 2007, under its own ability the section returned to camp headquarters in the Wombat State Forest. Comcare's investigation into that incident identified a number of breaches of section 16 of the Act.
The Chief of Army has undertaken to:
Comcare will oversee compliance by Chief of Army with the Undertaking for its duration, which expires on 1 April 2010.
A copy of the Undertaking can be viewed here: