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Wednesday, 24 October 1984
Page: 2330


Senator HEARN —I address my question to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. Has the Minister seen the report in today's Daily Telegraph regarding the Opposition 's policy for veterans? Is there any substance to the Opposition's claims of disruption and concern among veterans as a result of the supposed failure to introduce legislation to restructure the repatriation determining system?


Senator GIETZELT —My attention has been drawn to page 4 of today's Sydney Daily Telegraph which says that the Opposition claimed the Labor Government was causing disruption and concern by not introducing legislation to restructure the repatriation determining system with a view to ending backlogs and delays among repatriation claims. I am absolutely appalled that that statement should come from the Opposition because Senator Scott and Senator Messner spoke in support of the legislation which was dealt with in the Senate on the last day of the autumn sittings and passed through the House of Representatives several weeks ago. This week I appointed more than 60 members to serve on review boards that will commence on 1 January 1985 for the express purpose of overcoming the extreme delay and backlog which took place during the seven years of office of the Liberal Government. I find it incomprehensible that Senator Scott should have such statements attributed to him because he spoke positively in support of the legislation. One can only conclude that it is either a piece of sloppy journalism or a complete attempt by the Opposition to mislead and cause distress and confusion among many thousands of veterans.