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May 28, 2015

Mr CHESTER (  Gippsland — Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence ) ( 12:53 ): I do not wish to delay the House greatly, but in summing up can I commend the member for Moreton for his contribution and also the members for Canberra and Bass for their thoughtful contributions to the Defence Legislation (Enhancement of Military Justice) Bill 2015, which will amend the legislation relating to the military justice system. The bill contains a number of modest but important amendments and reforms to several Defence acts. This bill clarifies the legal character and status of service convictions while providing that a service offence is an offence against the law of the Commonwealth. It also makes other minor amendments to modernise the military justice system.

Importantly the bill provides for the extension for another two years of the appointment of the current Chief Judge Advocate and the full-time Judge Advocate. Judge advocates are essential to the proper operation of the superior tribunals. The extension of these appointments will allow the superior tribunals to continue operating while consideration is given to further reforms to the military discipline system.

The amendments and reforms contained in this bill demonstrate once again this government’s commitment to the security and the defence of Australia and its interests. Moreover, these amendments signal this government’s commitment to modernising the military discipline system. I commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.

Mr CHESTER  (Gippsland—Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence) (12:54): by leave—I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a third time.


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