Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 14/02/2007, p.3

THE father of a sailor killed in the HMAS Westralia fire has had a gut feeling for nine years that the Navy was responsible for the deaths of his daughter and three of her colleagues.

In an interview with The Courier-Mail yesterday, Lyndon Pelly — the father of midshipman Megan Pelly — said the handling of the matter by the Defence Inspector-General’s Division was disgusting.

News yesterday that a federal police investigator had warned the Defence Department in writing of risks three months before the fatal fire has confirmed Mr Pelly’s suspicions. “I’m really glad now that the Defence Department has been caught out,” he said.

Mr Pelly said he could only speculate that the reason the information had not been handed over earlier was it was safer for the Government for it not to see the light of day.

“This has obviously been known to them for going on nine years now and it’s only now been made public,” Mr Pelly said.

He said a new coronial inquiry, followed by a royal commission, should be ordered “to get to the truth behind the Westralia fire”.

Copyright 2007 / Courier Mail