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Wednesday, 13 November 2002
Page: 6317

Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 4 October 2002:

With reference to the consideration of Mr Justice Mohr that service at HMS Terror by Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force personnel be considered as qualifying service for the period 11 May 1960 to 5 June 1962, why did the Minister not accept that recommendation and, instead, substitute a period of only 51 days.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The recommendation on page 28 of Chapter 3 of the report, Review of Service Entitlement Anomalies in Respect of South-East Asian Service 1955-1975 read “that those Radio Operators posted to Singapore during the period 11 May 1960 to 5 June 1962 be retrospectively allotted for the period thereby qualifying them for the award of appropriate medal and repatriation benefits”.

This recommendation was accepted by Government and, therefore, the radio operators now have the same classification as other members of the Australian Defence Force deployed to Singapore and Malaya at that time, ie:

· Qualifying service for the period 11 May 1960 to 31 July 1960, which was the end of the Malayan Emergency. Hence radio operators who were first deployed to Singapore on 11 May 1960 and any others who arrived up to 31 July 1960, are entitled to claim a service pension.

· Operational service (that entitles veterans to the more generous standard of proof for disability pension claims) in respect of service from 1 August 1960 to 5 June 1962 when the unit was withdrawn.