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Thursday, 2 November 2000
Page: 18960

Senator O'BRIEN (12:50 PM) —I want to make some very brief comments on the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 1999, which the opposition is supporting. It is a bill which makes a number of controversial amendments to legislation dealing with veterans, the most notable of which relate to the formal recognition of the treatment of additional compensation payable on death or severe injury of veterans, the inclusion of counselling services in the services which may be provided to veterans' children and the correction of obvious errors in decisions of the Veterans' Review Board relating to the review of certain of their decisions. There are matters mentioned in the Parliamentary Library's Bills Digest No. 23 2000-01 on this bill, to which I would refer colleagues, which deal particularly with the issue of the way that compensation might apply where the result leads to maximum payments being increased to $200,000 for death or severe injury—that is, 80 per cent or more whole person impairment—$50,000 in respect of each dependent child at the date of death or severe injury and $1,000 payable to severely injured members or dependants of deceased members for obtaining professional advice. Having said that, I commend the bill to the Senate. The opposition will be supporting the bill.