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VETERANS' ENTITLEMENTS BILL 1985

Order of the Day read for the consideration of Message No. 292 of the House of Representatives.

Suspension of Standing Orders to enable rescission and recommittal: The Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt), pursuant to contingent notice, moved-That the Senate, having considered Message No. 292 from the House of Representatives, suspends so much of the Standing Orders as would prevent the requests for amendments and the amendments previously made by the Senate in the Veterans' Entitlements Bill 1985 being rescinded and as would prevent the Bill being recommitted to the Committee of the Whole; and that such requests for amendments and amendments be hereby rescinded and that the Bill be recommitted forthwith.

Question-put and passed.

The Senate, accordingly, resolved itself into Committee for the consideration of the Bill.

In the Committee

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

On the motion of Senator Gietzelt the following requests for amendments and amendments were, by leave, taken together, debated and agreed to:

(1) Requests: That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

Page 40, sub-clause 35 (1), definition of ""allied veteran'', lines 21 and 22, leave out "", before 1 September 1957,''.

Pages 87 and 88, sub-clause 68 (1), definition of ""defence service'', line 32 (Page 87) to line 11 (Page 88), leave out the definition, insert the following definition:

"" "defence service' means-

(a) continuous full-time service rendered as a member of the Defence Force on or after 7 December 1972 and before the terminating date; and

(b) in the case of a person who-

(i) was rendering continuous full-time service as a member of the Defence Force immediately before the commencement of this Act;

(ii) continued so to render continuous full-time service until and including the day immediately before the terminating date; and

(iii) was, immediately before the terminating date, bound to render continuous full-time service as such a member for a term expiring on or after the terminating date,

includes the continuous full-time service rendered by the person as a member of the Defence Force on and after the terminating date and before-

(iv) the expiration of that term or, if that term is deemed to have been extended by sub-section (4), (5) or (6), the expiration of the extension of that term; or

(v) the lawful termination of the person's service as a member of the Defence Force otherwise than by reason of the expiration of the term for which the person is bound to serve,

whichever occurs first,

but does not include any period of peacekeeping service;''.

Page 89, sub-clause 68 (1), after definition of ""peacekeeping service'', add the following new definition:

"" "terminating date' means the date fixed by Proclamation for the purpose of this definition, being a date not earlier than the date of commencement of an Act establishing a Military Compensation Scheme.''.

Page 89, paragraph 68 (4) (a), line 34, leave out ""the commencement of this Act'', insert ""the terminating date''.

Page 89, paragraph 68 (4) (a), line 37, leave out ""after the commencement of this Act'', insert ""on or after the terminating date''.

Page 90, sub-clause 68 (5), lines 3 and 4, leave out ""the commencement of this Act'', insert ""the terminating date''.

Page 90, sub-clause 68 (5), line 5, leave out ""after the commencement of this Act'', insert ""on or after the terminating date''.

Page 90, paragraph 68 (6) (a), line 17, leave out ""the commencement of this Act'', insert ""the terminating date''.

Page 90, paragraph 68 (6) (a), line 20, leave out ""after the commencement of this Act'', insert ""on or after the terminating date''.

Page 90, after sub-clause 68 (6), add the following new sub-clause:

""(7) Sub-sections (4), (5) and (6) do not apply to a person who was bound to render continuous full-time service as a member of the Defence Force immediately before the terminating date unless the person-

(a) was so rendering continuous full-time service immediately before the commencement of this Act; and

(b) continued so to render continuous full-time service until and including the day immediately before the terminating date.''.

Page 90, sub-clause 69 (1), line 35, leave out ""Subject to sub-section (2)'', insert ""Subject to this section''.

Page 90, paragraph 69 (1) (a), line 38, leave out ""commencement of this Act'', insert ""terminating date''.

Page 91, paragraph 69 (1) (b), lines 1 and 2, leave out the paragraph, insert the following paragraph:

""(b) is serving in the Defence Force on or after the terminating date and has so served continuously since a date before that date,''.

Page 91, sub-paragraph 69 (1) (c) (i), line 6, leave out "", being service that ended''.

Page 92, sub-clause 69 (2), line 8, at end of sub-clause, add ""unless, under sub-section (1), this Part would apply to the person by reason only of his or her having rendered that further period of service.''.

Page 92, after sub-clause 69 (2), insert the following new sub-clause:

""(2A) Where a person renders continuous full-time service as a member of the Defence Force at some time after the commencment of this Act and before the terminating date but has not so rendered continuous full-time service continuously from and including the day immediately before the date of commencement of this Act to that time, sub-section (1) does not apply in respect of the person unless-

(a) the person completes 3 years' effective full-time service as such a member before the terminating date; or

(b) the person's service as a member or officer of the Defence Force is terminated as provided by paragraph (1) (d) or (e), whichever is applicable, before the terminating date.''.

Page 130, after sub-paragraph 102 (5) (a) (i), insert the following new sub-paragraphs:

""(ia) the Cross of Valour;

(ib) the Star of Courage;''.

(2) Amendments:

Page 1, clause 2, line 7, leave out ""on 5 December 1985'', insert ""on a date to be fixed by Proclamation''.

Page 7, clause 5, at end of clause, add the following new sub-clause:

""(12) In this Act, a reference to a person, or a unit of the Defence Force, that was allotted for duty in an operational area shall be read as a reference to a person, or unit of the Defence Force-

(a) that was so allotted for duty in accordance with administrative arrangements applicable in the part of the Defence Force in which the person was serving, or of which that unit formed a part, as the case may be; or

(b) that is, by an instrument in writing signed by the Minister for Defence, deemed to have been allotted for duty in an area described in item 4 or 8 in Schedule 2 during the period specified in that item.''.

Page 9, paragraphs 6 (5) (a) and (b), lines 28 to 43, leave out the paragraphs, insert the following paragraphs:

""(a) shall be taken to have commenced-

(i) if the person was in Australia on the day as from which the person was allotted for duty in that area-on the day on which the person departed from the last port of call in Australia for that service; or

(ii) if the person was outside Australia on the day as from which the person was so allotted for duty-on the day as from which the person was so allotted for duty; and

(b) shall be taken to have ended at the expiration of-

(i) if the person was allotted for duty from an operational area to another area outside Australia (not being an operational area)-on the day on which the person arrived at that other area or on the day as from which the person was allotted to that other area at a time when the person was in that other area; or

(ii) in any other case-on the day on which the person arrived at the first port of call in Australia on returning from operational service.''.

Page 39, sub-clause 34 (3), line 14, after ""served'', insert ""on the person''.

Page 61, paragraph 47 (8) (a), line 41, leave out ""dependent'', insert ""dependant''.

Page 61, paragraph 47 (8) (b), line 42, leave out ""dependent on'', insert ""dependant of''.

Page 63, clause 47, at end of clause, add the following new sub-clause:

""(13) On and after 1 May 1986, paragraph (3) (a) shall be read as if "$520' were omitted and "$624' were substituted.''.

Page 111, sub-clause 84 (6) and (7), lines 28 to 35, leave out the sub-clauses, insert the following sub-clause:

""(6) Subject to section 93, where a person, other than a person included in a prescribed class of persons, is provided with treatment under section 87 or 88, the person is liable to pay to the Commonwealth in respect of that treatment-

(a) unless paragraph (b) applies-charges in accordance with a scale of charges determined by the Commission, by instrument in writing, being charges based on charges payable for treatment as private patients in public hospitals in Australia; or

(b) if the person is not ordinarily resident in Australia-the cost (as determined by the Commission by instrument in writing) of and incidental to that treatment.''.

Page 132, after sub-clause 105 (3), insert the following new sub-clause:

""(3a) Where a scheme prepared by the Commission in accordance with sub-section (1), or an instrument under sub-section (2), has been approved by the Minister, the Commission shall furnish copies of the scheme or instrument to the Minister, and the Minister shall cause copies to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister received those copies.''.

Page 139, sub-clause 110 (1), line 32, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 139, sub-clauses 110 (2), line 34, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 142, after clause 114, insert the following new clause:

Review of decision, &c.

""114a. (1) Subject to sub-section (2), a person who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Commission in respect of an application for-

(a) clothing allowance;

(b) funeral benefits under section 99, 100 or 101;

(c) decoration allowance;

(d) Victoria Cross Allowance;

(e) recreation transport allowance;

(f) temporary incapacity allowance; or

(g) loss of earnings allowance,

may request the Commission, in writing, to review the decision, and, where such a request is duly made, the Commission shall review the decision, or cause the decision to be reviewed by a person to whom the Commission has delegated its powers under this section (not being the person who made the decision).

""(2) A request under sub-section (1) to review a decision of the Commission shall set out particulars of the grounds on which the request is made, and may be made within 3 months after service on the person to whom the decision relates of notice of the decision, but not otherwise.

""(3) Where the Commission reviews a decision under sub-section (1), the Commission may affirm or set aside the decision and, if it sets aside the decision, it shall make such other decision as it considers to be in accordance with this Act.

""(4) Where the Commission makes a decision, in substitution for the decision set aside, granting an application for an allowance specified in sub-section (1), it may approve payment of the allowance as from a date not earlier than the date as from which the Commission could have approved payment of the allowance if it had made the substituted decision in place of the original decision.

""(5) Sections 60 and 62 apply to a review under this section in like manner as they apply to a review under section 59 and, for the purpose of their application to a review under this section-

(a) references in sections 60 and 62 to section 59 shall be read as references to this section; and

(b) references in section 60 to a review shall be read as references to a review under sub-section (1) of this section.

""(6) A reference in sub-section (1) to a decision in respect of an application for funeral benefits under section 99 shall be read as not including a reference to a decision of the Commission to grant, or refuse to grant, an approval of a kind referred to in paragraph 99 (3) (a), (b), (c) or (d).''.

Page 144, after sub-clause 116 (3), insert the following new sub-clause:

""(3A) Where a scheme prepared by the Commission in accordance with sub-section (1), or an instrument under sub-section (2), has been approved by the Minister, the Commission shall furnish copies of the scheme or instrument to the Minister, and the Minister shall cause copies to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the Minister received those copies.''.

Page 152, paragraph 127 (1) (a), line 13, leave out ""within the period and in the manner'', insert ""within a reasonable period and in a reasonable manner''.

Page 152, paragraph 127 (1) (b), line 17, leave out ""within the period and in the manner'', insert ""within a reasonable period and in a reasonable manner''.

Page 152, paragraph 127 (1) (c), line 21, leave out ""on a date, and at a time and place'', insert ""on a reasonable date and at a reasonable time and place''.

Page 153, sub-clause 131 (1), line 23, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 153, sub-clause 131(2), line 36, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 153, sub-clause 131(2), line 41, leave out ""as the Commission considers reasonable'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(3), line 1, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(4), line 6, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(4), lines 10 and 11, leave out ""as the Commission considers reasonable'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(5), line 12, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(6), line 16, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(6), lines 19 and 20, leave out ""as the Commission considers reasonable'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(7), line 21, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(8), line 31, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 154, sub-clause 131(8), lines 35 and 36, leave out ""as the Commission considers reasonable'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 155, sub-clause 131(9), line 10, leave out ""as the Commission determines'', insert ""as are prescribed''.

Page 155, paragraph 131(11)(e), line 32, leave out ""tha'', insert ""that''.

Page 155, sub-clause 131(12), line 36, after ""59'', insert "", 114a''.

Page 175, clause 174, at end of clause, add the following new sub-clause:

""(4) Where the Commission, under section 114a, affirms a decision of the Commission in respect of an application for an allowance or benefit referred to in sub-section 114a(1), or sets aside such a decision and substitutes another decision for it, then, subject to section 29 of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, application may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review-

(a) of the decision so affirmed; or

(b) of the decision made by the Commission under section 114a in substitution for the decision so set aside.''.

Page 177, clause 176, at end of clause, add the following new sub-clause:

""(6) Where the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, upon application under sub-section 174(4) for a review of a decision made by the Commission with respect to an application for an allowance under section 97, 102, 103 or 104, grants the allowance referred to in that section, or increases the rate at which the allowance so referred to is to be paid, the Tribunal may approve payment of the allowance, or of the allowance at the increased rate, as the case may be-

(a) if the application was made within 3 months after service on the applicant of a document setting out the terms of that decision-from a date not earlier than the earliest date as from which the Commission could, if it had not made that decision, have approved payment of the allowance, or payment of the allowance at the increased rate, as the case may be; or

(b) in any other case-from the date on which the application under sub-section 174(4) was made.''.

Pages 198 and 199, clause 206, line 16 (page 198) to line 43 (page 199), leave out the clause.

Page 200, paragraph 208(1)(a), line 42, before ""make'', insert ""knowingly''.

Page 201, paragraph 208(1)(b), line 8, before ""obtain'', insert ""knowingly''.

Page 201, paragraph 208(1)(c), line 11, before ""obtain'', insert ""knowingly''.

Page 201, paragraph 208(1)(d), line 15, before ""obtain'', insert ""knowingly''.

Page 201, paragraph 208 (1) (e), line 18, before ""make'', insert ""knowingly''.

Page 204, sub-clause 215 (3), line 17, leave out ""this section'', insert ""sub-section (1)''.

Page 204, paragraph 215 (3) (a), lines 20 and 21, leave out ""4 December 1985'', insert ""the day immediately preceding the date fixed under section 2''.

Page 204, paragraph 215 (3) (b), line 23, leave out ""5 December 1985'', insert ""the date fixed under section 2''.

Page 204, clause 215, at end of clause, add the following new sub-clauses:

""(4) The Principal Member of the Board shall, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, prepare and furnish to the Minister a report on the operations of the Board during the year that ended on that 30 June.

""(5) The Minister shall cause a copy of a report furnished to the Minister under sub-section (4) to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report.

""(6) The first report to be prepared and furnished to the Minister under sub-section (4) shall be a report on the operations of the Board-

(a) under the Repatriation Act 1920 in respect of the period that commenced on 1 July 1985 and ended on the day immediately preceding the date fixed under section 2; and

(b) under this Act in respect of the period that commenced on the date fixed under section 2 and ends on 30 June 1986.''.

Senator Lewis moved an amendment, viz: Page 147, after sub-clause 119 (7), add the following new sub-clauses:

""(8) Notwithstanding any provision of any other Act, where a claim for a pension of a kind referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) or an application for a review of a decision relating to such a claim for a pension was made before 15 May 1985 and not determined before the commencement of this Act, this Act shall have effect in respect of that claim or that application as if this section required the Commission to grant a claim for a pension unless the Commission is satisfied, beyond reasonable doubt, that there is no sufficient ground for granting the claim.

""(9) Where a claim for a pension of a kind referred to in sub-sections (1) and (2) or an application for a review of a decision relating to such a claim for a pension was made before 15 May 1985 and determined before the commencement of this Act, the person who made the claim or the application may request, in writing in accordance with a form approved by the Commission, the redetermination of that claim or that application.

""(10) Where a request is made under sub-section (9), the claim or the application in respect of which the request is made shall be deemed not to have been determined, and shall be determined in accordance with sub-section (8).

""(11) A claim or an application determined under sub-section (9) shall be deemed to have been so determined on the day on which that claim or application was determined before the commencement of this Act.''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the words proposed to be added be added-put.

The Committee divided-

AYES, 29

Senators- Archer Baume, Michael Bjelke-Petersen Boswell Brownhill Carrick, Sir John Chaney Collard Crichton-Browne Durack Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret Hamer Harradine Hill Kilgariff Knowles Lewis MacGibbon Macklin Messner Newman Parer Puplick Reid (Teller) Sheil Short Teague Watson Withers

NOES, 33

Senators- Aulich Black Button Childs Chipp Coates Coleman Cook Cooney Crowley Devlin Elstob Evans Foreman Gietzelt Giles Grimes Haines Jones (Teller) McKiernan Mason Morris Ray Reynolds Richardson Ryan Sanders Sibraa Siddons Tate Vigor Walsh Zakharov

Amendment negatived accordingly.

Senator Macklin, by leave, moved the following requests for amendments and amendments together:

(1) Requests: That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendments:

Page 17, sub-paragraphs 13 (2) (c) (i) and (ii), lines 7 to 11, leave out the sub-paragraphs, insert "", in receipt of a pension under this Part,''.

Page 17, after sub-clause 13 (4), insert the following new sub-clauses:

""(4a) Where a person who is a dependant of a member of the Forces within the meaning of the Repatriation Act 1920 was, prior to the commencement of this Act, in receipt of a pension under Part III of that Act, and the Commonwealth, but for the operation of this sub-section, would not be liable to pay a pension to that person under this Act, the Commonwealth is liable to pay a pension to that person as if the Repatriation Act 1920 were in force after the commencement of this Act.

""(4b) Where a person entitled to pension under sub-section (4a) elects to receive, in lieu of that pension, a payment equal to the amount of pension payable to that person during the period of 5 years following that election, such an amount is payable to that person in lieu of that pension.''.

Page 19, after sub-clause 13 (8), insert the following new sub-clause:

""(8a) Where a pension payable under the Repatriation Act 1920 to a person who is a widow of a member of the Forces within the meaning of that Act ceased to be payable by reason of that person's marriage, and that person is divorced or that person's husband dies, the Commonwealth is liable to pay a pension to that person in accordance with this Act as if that person were the widow of a veteran.''.

Page 27, paragraphs 23 (1) (a) and (b), lines 3 to 9, leave out the paragraphs.

Page 27, paragraph 23 (3) (b), lines 41 and 42, leave out "", not being a veteran who has attained the age of 65 years,''.

Page 28, paragraphs 24 (1) (a) and (b), lines 11 to 18, leave out the paragraphs.

Page 28, paragraph 24 (1) (c), line 19, leave out ""that''.

Page 28, paragraph 24 (2) (b), lines 35 and 36, leave out "", not being a veteran who has attained the age of 65 years,''.

Page 29, after clause 24, insert the following new clause:

Exceptional disability allowance

""24a. (1) Where-

(a) a veteran is not entitled to receive a pension under section 24 by reason only of the operation of sub-paragraph 24 (2) (a) (i); and

(b) the Commission is satisfied that the degree of incapacity of the veteran from war-caused injury or war-caused disease, or both, increased after the veteran ceased to engage in remunerative work,

pension is payable to the veteran under section 24 notwithstanding that sub-paragraph.''.

Page 108, after paragraph 81 (1) (b), add the following new word and paragraph:

""or (c) an allied veteran within the meaning of Part III, and who is an Australian citizen,''.

Page 109, paragraph 81 (2) (a), at end of paragraph, add "", or an allied veteran within the meaning of Part III who is an Australian citizen''.

(2) Amendments:

Page 23, sub-clause 19 (4), lines 13 and 14, leave out ""the claim shall, by force of this sub-section, be deemed to have been refused'', insert ""the Commission may refuse the claim''.

Page 160, paragraph 137 (2) (b), at end of paragraph, add ""or as the Board requires for its purposes''.

Debate ensued.

Question-That the requests for amendments and amendments be agreed to-put.

The Committee divided-

AYES, 8

Senators- Chipp Haines Harradine Macklin (Teller) Mason Sanders Siddons Vigor

NOES, 53

Senators- Archer Aulich Baume, Michael Bjelke-Petersen Black Bolkus Boswell Brownhill Carrick, Sir John Childs Coates Coleman Collard Cook Cooney Crichton-Browne Crowley Devlin Elstob Evans Foreman Georges Gietzelt Giles Grimes Guilfoyle, Dame Margaret Hamer Hill Jones Kilgariff Knowles Lewis MacGibbon McIntosh McKiernan Messner Morris Newman Parer Puplick Ray Reid (Teller) Reynolds Richardson Ryan Sheil Short Sibraa Tate Teague Watson Withers Zakharov

Requests for amendments and amendments negatived accordingly.

Bill, subject to requests and as amended, further debated and agreed to with amendments and requests.

Bill to be reported with amendments and requests.

The Acting Deputy-President (Senator Coleman) resumed the Chair; and the Chairman of Committees (Senator Hamer) reported accordingly.

On the motion of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs (Senator Gietzelt) the Report from the Committee was adopted.

And it being 2 p.m.-