From: Defence Media Centre [mediacentre@media.defence.gov.au]
Sent: Fri 6/05/2011 5:54 PM

Defence Media Release: Recognition of Operation Lagoon and Operation Gateway

The Parliamentary Secretary for Defence, Senator David Feeney, announced today that the independent Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal will inquire into recognition for two separate Australian Defence Force operations – Operation Lagoon and Operation Gateway.

“I am pleased that the Tribunal will inquire into recognition of service for Operation Lagoon and Operation Gateway,” Senator Feeney said,

Operation Gateway commenced in 1981. This operation involves the conduct of Northern Indian Ocean and South China Sea maritime surveillance patrols.

“I have asked the Tribunal to look at whether more than one medal can be awarded for service before and after 1975, having regard to the nature of this operation and in the context of service in South East Asia over that period,” Senator Feeney said Operation Lagoon was the first combined south Pacific region peacekeeping operation commanded by the Australian Defence Force in 1994 in Bougainville. Service with this operation currently attracts no form of recognition.

“I have asked the Tribunal to examine the relevant evidence, look at the nature and context of the service in relation to the criteria for an Australian award for this operation,” Senator Feeney said.

“A number of people have raised with the Government and the Tribunal the issue of recognition for service with these operations. I encourage all those with an interest in these matters to now take advantage of this opportunity to make a submission,” Senator Feeney said.

The call for submissions for each of the inquiries will be released shortly in the national press.

Submissions to the inquiries will close on Friday, 3 June 2011.

The Tribunal can be contacted at:

Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal
CP3-7-067
Locked Bag 7765
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610

or via e-mail to DHA.Tribunal@defence.gov.au

The full terms of reference for the inquiry and guidance on how to make a submission can be obtained at:

www.defence-honours-tribunal.gov.au

Media contact:
Senator Feeney’s Office – Lorna Clarke – 0408 345 730