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Tuesday, 11 September 1973
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The loss of a limb is an event which is a catastrophe in anyone's life. Such an event can result from the increasing number of industrial and road accidents arising in today's developed society or from diseases more common to the older age group. The Government proposes that artificial limbs will be provided, free of charge, to all persons in the community who need them, whether ex-service personnel or civilians.

Supply, at least in the early stages, will be subject to certain priorities, generally based on need and medical advice. The Repatriation Commission will supply artificial limbs either direct from the Repatriation artificial limb and appliance centres or through commercial limbmakers. In addition to supplying initial artificial limbs to new amputees, the Government proposes that replacement limbs will be supplied to existing amputees, estimated to number 13,000.

The estimated cost of providing the additional limbs this year is $0.6 15m and $0.9m in a full year. In addition, an estimated $0.5m is expected to be spent on provision of additional buildings and equipment over the next 2 years.

Disregarding War Pension as Income for Means Test Purposes

As a step towards implementing the Government's undertaking to disregard war pensions as income for means test purposes, the Bill proposes that 25 per cent of all war pension payments will be disregarded in the assessment of Service pensions. Some war pensioners whose means exclude them from receiving a Service pension, or who receive such a pension at less than the maximum rate, will benefit from this proposal. Estimates are difficult to make, but it is expected that approximately 25,000 persons could benefit at a cost of $5.6m this year and $7.47m in a full year.

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