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Calls for royal commission

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The man who led a taskforce investigating defence force abuse claims has called for a royal commission into the military’s handling of allegations.

But Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the government will wait until various reports into the matter are released.

Lawyer Gary Rumble led law firm DLA Piper’s review of defence force abuse claims in 2012, uncovering 775 plausible cases since the 1950s.

Mr Rumble has expressed his dissatisfaction with the previous Labor government’s response to the report.

On Sunday, he widened his criticism to include the coalition government, which he said was also not doing enough.

He called for a royal commission into defence’s handling of abuse allegations to give victims an avenue to air grievances.

“It would sending a strong signal that these issues are being taken seriously,” Mr Rumble told the Nine Network.

Mr Rumble’s chief concern is making it easier for alleged victims to get Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, one of the review’s recommendations.

He said many were suffering – even dying – because they couldn’t get access to benefits due to the difficulties in proving their claims years after the alleged abuse.

Mr Rumble said some perpetrators and “silent witnesses” were never identified and are now rising through the ranks of the military.

“This needed a strong and authoritative call from (Defence Force chief David Hurley)… as far as I’m aware he has not made any such call,” he said.

However, the prime minister said the government will wait until reports commissioned by Labor were released before it responded.

There was no place for abuse inside the armed forces, Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.