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Monday, 1 June 1998
Page: 4241

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in Parliament:

This petition of certain citizens of Australia, draws to the attention of the House the fact that members of the Royal Australian Navy who served in Malaya between 1955 and 1960 are still the only Australians, sent overseas on active service, whose service has not been recognised in three important areas:

1. R.A.N. casualties are not yet included on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial alongside Army and R.A.A.F. casualties;

2. R.A.N. service has not yet been recognised with the visible signs of service to Australia; the Returned from Active Service Badge and the Naval campaign medal;

3. R.A.N. service is still not acknowledged as eligible service for the Australian Service Pension, while service by Commonwealth and allied veterans from 55 other countries is.

Members of the Army and R.A.A.F. who served during the same period in Malaya had their service fully recognised 24 hours after arriving in Malaya.

In the 1997 Budget the Government partly recognised that R.A.N. service was `operational' and accepted responsibility for disabilities resulting from that service. Those affected appreciate the belated, partial recognition. However, government departments are still resorting to old, and inventing new excuses, to deny the above 3 points.

Your petitioners therefore request that the House acts to help remove the injustice of 40 years and fully recognise R.A.N. service by providing the same recognition and benefits for that service. The cost will be minuscule, being mainly a transfer of pensions from `age' as paid by the Department of Social Security, to `service' pensions, paid by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

by Mr Halverson(from 34 citizens)