Statement – Private Jason Challis
On 10 May 2017, Private Jason Challis, a Rifleman with the 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, was killed during a training incident at Mount Bundey Training Area, in the Northern Territory.
Today, at the Northern Territory Local Court, Defence was convicted under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing to provide Private Challis with a safe workplace and fined $1 million. The tragic and deeply regrettable consequence of this failure was the avoidable death of Private Challis.
The Australian Army community was shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of Private Challis and we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Our people serve in uniform to protect Australians, and make great sacrifices to do so. The loss of any member of the Army community has a significant impact. When that loss occurs during training, it is felt deeply.
The Army remains committed to the safety of our people in training and on operations. Army has learned important lessons following the death of Private Challis. These have been applied to make sure our people can train realistically in a safe workplace.
Defence has strengthened its safety framework, policy and practices to better manage risk. Army has implemented a network of Regional Land-Range Safety Advisors in Darwin, Townsville, and Brisbane. These advisors provide expert advice to Army personnel on all aspects of land range safety. A new system ensures that Army personnel are qualified, competent and current to conduct training.
Further information is also available at the Comcare website: Defence fined $1 million over live-fire fatality (Media release).