Sydney, July 5 (ANI): Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that an alleged contest among sailors to have sex with as many female crewmates as possible needs to be fully investigated by the Australian Defence Force.
Gillard said nothing should preclude women from enjoying a full and rewarding career in the Australian Defence Force.
A group of sailors from HMAS Success were sent home and an inquiry was launched after they allegedly organised a challenge to have sex with as many female crewmates as possible.
"Obviously this is a matter for our defence forces to deal with and to fully investigate," Gillard told Network Ten on Sunday.
She said both the government and the nation had been saying for a long time that women should be able to join the army, the navy or air force.
"We don't want to see anything that precludes women from having a good career in our armed forces if that is what they choose to do with their lives. Clearly these allegations need to be fully investigated," she said.
"In the first instance we need our defence hierarchy to get on with the job of investigating these claims and taking appropriate action," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Gillard, as saying.
The Seven Network reported that the sailors allegedly detailed their contest in a document called "The Ledger" where dollar values were placed on each woman's head, during an overseas deployment in May.
Larger amounts were offered if the sailors could sleep with a female officer or a lesbian and sailors challenged each other to have sex in various locations, including on top of a pool table, the report said.
The arrangement was discovered while HMAS Success was visiting Singapore. The captain ordered the sailors to immediately return home to Australia after they were formally interviewed.
The Defence Department confirmed a formal inquiry was underway, but said "the veracity of any allegations has yet to be confirmed." (ANI)