You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Royal Australian Navy personnel are banned from marching at an Anzac Day dawn service amid fears they could trip over in the dark

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/04/2019 Brittany Chain For Daily Mail Australia

Royal Australian Navy personnel have been told they cannot march at an ANZAC Day dawn service amid fears they could trip in the dark.

The Greenwell Point Anzac Day march near Nowra on the New South Wales south coast has been deemed an occupational health and safety risk due to lighting issues.

Personnel from HMAS Albatross will attend the dawn service in other positions, including as guest speakers and flag-bearers, a Defence spokesman said.

a group of people in uniform standing in front of a crowd: The Greenwell Point Anzac Day march near Nowra on the New South Wales south coast has been deemed an occupational health and safety risk due to lighting issues (pictured are Navy personnel marching in a dawn service in Sydney in 2014) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Greenwell Point Anzac Day march near Nowra on the New South Wales south coast has been deemed an occupational health and safety risk due to lighting issues (pictured are Navy personnel marching in a dawn service in Sydney in 2014)

'The instruction to HMAS Albatross personnel, while different to what may have occurred in the past, has been provided cognisant of procedures traditionally observed by service personnel attending dawn services,' the spokesperson said.

He said the particular physical and environmental conditions that are expected at Greenwell Point on Anzac Day were also contributing factors. 

'Local commanders are responsible to ensure that risks to members on duty are reduced as reasonably practicable for dawn services across Australia.' 

But Nowra RSL sub-president Fred Dawson said the decision was 'beyond belief'.

'It's beyond belief, we are talking about armed forces, men trained to fight and look after themselves in very risky circumstances, marching down Greenwell Point Road under street lights has minimal risk factors involved,' he told ABC News.

'So from my perspective, sailors will be on parade in the nearby park waiting for the diggers to arrive, schools children will also be marching in the dark, but not serving personnel.' 

The break in tradition will be the first time in 30 years the RAN hasn't marched at this specific location.

a group of people in uniform: Royal Australian Navy personnel will not march at the Anzac Day dawn service at Greenwell Point in Nowra amid safety concerns (pictured is a past  Canberra service) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Royal Australian Navy personnel will not march at the Anzac Day dawn service at Greenwell Point in Nowra amid safety concerns (pictured is a past  Canberra service)

Instead, the personnel will be formed and waiting for those involved in the march to reach them.

Captain Fiona Sneath from HMAS Albatross defended the decision, but said she may be open to reviewing the matter.

'It might mean just having some more people to observe what is going on and are around to observe what is going on and make others who are marching in the squad aware that there is perhaps a pothole or obstacle,' she said. 

'I can understand the community concerns, and we do put our people in danger at times, but we do have an obligation that we reduce any risk as much as practicable.' 

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon