THE Navy is facing a sex scandal involving claims male sailors took part in a contest to bed women sailors, assigning a dollar value to each conquest.
Higher values were placed on officers or lesbians and scores were recorded in a book referred to as ``the ledger.''
Competitors were also encouraged to have sex in unusual places such as on pool tables.
The allegations have been made against crew aboard HMAS Success, the largest ship ever built for the Australian Navy and the flagship of the fleet.
They surfaced when the ship was docked in Singapore in May and female victims made complaints during an ``equity and diversity health check''.
The male sailors in question were immediately flown to Australia and the Navy has now announced an inquiry into the matter.
The Department of Defence confirmed the investigation yesterday after a report on Channel Seven.
``The matter concerning sailors who were returned to Australia from HMAS Success in May 2009 remains under investigation, so the veracity of any allegations has yet to be confirmed,'' a Defence spokesperson said in the statement.
``The individuals were removed from the ship after an equity and diversity health check, which led to a formal inquiry being initiated.''
The sailors were interviewed by the ship's captain Commander Simon Brown before being sent home.
The Navy has a stringent policy in relation to human resources and warns all its staff to ``treat others fairly'' and that unacceptable behaviour ``will be dealt with''.
Women's Forum Australia spokesperson Melinda Tankard Reist was quoted on Seven News saying: ``If the allegations are proven I don't think these men should have a role in the Navy. These are not the kind of men we want defending us.''
Opposition defence, science and personnel spokesman Bob Baldwin said a higher standard of behaviour was expected from people serving in the Defence Force.