Australia’s strategic outlook has changed with the events of 11 September 2001 and 12 October 2002. Deployments as part of the international coalition against terrorism, coupled with commitments to operations including East Timor, Bougainville and the Gulf have seen the Australian Defence Force (ADF) experience its highest operational tempo since the Vietnam War.
Australia's strategic outlook has changed with the events of 11 September 2001 and 12 October 2002. Deployments as part of the international coalition against terrorism, coupled with commitments to operations including East Timor, Bougainville and the Gulf have seen the Australian Defence Force (ADF) experience its highest operational tempo since the Vietnam War.
The Government's 2000 Defence White Paper acknowledged the increased level of activity and highlighted a significant change to the role of the Reserves, which make up over 43 percent of the ADF. Almost 1000 Reserve members are currently on voluntary full-time service, both in Australia and overseas.
Deployments provide invaluable experience for Reservists strengthening their leadership, problem-solving and teamwork skills and knowledge. In addition to this experience gained on deployments, nearly 200 Reserve training courses have civil accreditation. All of these skills are returned to the workplace, enhancing Reservist's versatility to employers.
Prior to 2000, legislation limited the Government's ability to call out Reservists to times of war or defence emergency. In 2001 new legislation was introduced to allow the call out of Reserves for a wider range of contingencies, such as peace support operations, civil emergencies and natural disaster relief, in Australia and overseas.
Employer support for the Reserves
The Government also recognised that this new level of commitment required of Reservists would impact on employers. As a consequence the Government directed that range of non-legislative initiatives be introduced to enhance the ADF Reserves.
One of the most innovative of the initiatives is the ADF Reserves Employer Support Payment (ESP) Scheme. It was introduced in 2001 to provide financial assistance to employers during their Reservist-employees' absence on military service or training. The scheme provides qualifying businesses with a payment equivalent to average adult weekly earnings, currently $860.10 per week. Some employers elect to use this payment to hire casual employees or pay overtime to existing staff during Reservists' absence, or to pay "top up" salary to Reservist-employees who are absent on military service or training. Reserve Service Protection legislation was also introduced in 2001, and provides protection to Reservists against discrimination as well as protection to Reserve members' jobs, enrolment in educational courses and financial protection in certain circumstances.
The Government also created the Office of Reserve Service Protection (ORSP). The office is a point of contact for employers, Reservists and other members of the community who want to find out more about the mutual obligations of Reserve service.
Defence Reserves Support Council
Another initiative is the enhancement of the Defence Reserves Support Council. The DRSC, which has a committee in each state and territory, provides a forum for business and other organisations to work with Defence to enhance the availability of Reservists.
The DRSC mission is to enhance the availability of the Reserve component of the ADF by promoting the benefits of Reserve service to, and by establishing a flexible partnership with, the community in general and employers in particular.
The national council, representing business and other interest groups, provides advice to the Government on Reserve policy and its impact on business and the community. The council provides a vital link between government, Defence and the community from which Reserves are drawn. The national council meets twice yearly at different venues in Australia. The second meeting coincides with the high-profile presentation of Prince of Wales Awards. Between these formal sessions, sub-committees work to assist in drafting policy.
The Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale, attended the last meeting held in Adelaide in October 2002. She confirmed her support of the DRSC and expressed a desire to become more involved in the business of the council.
The purpose of this database is to provide a full-text record of all articles that have appeared in the CDJ since February 1997. It is aimed to assist in the research and reference process. The database has a full-text index and will enable articles to be easily retrieved.It should be noted that information contained in this database is in pre-publication format only - IT IS NOT THE FINAL PRINTED VERSION OF THE CDJ - therefore there might be slight discrepancies between the contents of this database and the printed CDJ.
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