Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence
Defence Minister Ron Mark has released the Desktop Review of the official reports into the Anzac Day 2010 helicopter crash, in which three of the crew were killed and the fourth critically injured.
The Minister called for the review to provide assurance that the reports, taken together, comprise a full picture of the accident and that the issues of the cause, fault and responsibility were properly examined in the aftermath. The review was conducted by former Solicitor-General Michael Heron QC.
“First, let me again express my deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased airmen, and to the survivor, Stevin Creeggan. Nothing can change what they have suffered,” said Ron Mark.
“Mr Heron’s report is a thorough assessment by a highly skilled independent reviewer.
“He has found that the care and attention given to the crash through the Court of Inquiry (COI) process compares well to civilian equivalents, stating that it was meticulous, thorough and professional. The work of the other authorities involved appears to have given the accident full and proper consideration.
“The review was not intended or designed as a new inquiry into the crash, but the report shows that the families and others impacted by this tragic accident can rest assured that the accident was carefully and thoroughly reviewed.
“On other matters, the report recommends that I seek reassurance as to the timeliness of the process followed in reaching the decisions about prosecutions relating to command responsibility, and seek advice as to the completion of the recommendations made in the State Services Commission review of the role of the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in respect to responsibility for health and safety investigations.
“I agree with these conclusions, and have directed the Defence Force to respond to these matters urgently and report back to me on completion.
“However, it is clear that the completion of this report can be seen as the last chapter in the necessary formal processes after such a horrific event,” said Ron Mark.
The report the Minister is releasing today (attached) has been redacted to protect legal privilege by its author, Michael Heron QC.