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Thursday, 8 December 1960


Mr Beazley y asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1.   Has the Army formed, or does it intend to form, any anti-aircraft units equipped with rockets and guided missiles: If not, why not?

2.   If it is intended to form these units, will they be attached to capital cities or key industrial cities for civil defence purposes?

3.   If the Army assumes no responsibility for anti-aircraft and anti-rocket defence of cities what are the reasons for it not doing so?

4.   Has the Army studied the United States Army regiments equipped with NIKE and other rockets for the defence of cities?

5.   If so, does it accept the premises on which these forces have been formed? If not, why not?


Mr Cramer (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Army) - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   The Army has not yet formed any antiaircraft units equipped with surface-to-air guided missiles, but the requirement is under active consideration.

2.   Army units which may be equipped with surface-to-air guided missies would not normally be attached to capital cities or key industrial cities for civil defence purposes. The role of such Army units would be air defence in the forward area of Army forces, lines of communication, and installations.

3.   The R.A.A.F. is responsible for the air defence of Australia and her territories. 4 and 5. Not having the responsibility for the air defence of Australia, the Army has made no detailed study of the United States Army units, equipped with NIKE or other missiles, in the air defence role. However, the Army does keep under continuous study the organizations and weapons in the United States and elsewhere of units designed for the air defence of forces and bases in forward areas. As mentioned above, responsibility for the air defence of Australia is vested in the R.A.A.F.


Mr Stokes s asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice -

1.   Do Australian Military Regulations provide that the minimum qualifying period of furlough, except where age for retirement has been reached prior to qualification or discharge is due to disability or where death has occurred, is fifteen years?

2.   Has it been the practice in the past, where personnel have been retrenched, for payment to be made in lieu of furlough in addition to other emoluments provided under the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act?

3.   What provision is being made for payment in lieu of furlough to personnel with less than fifteen years' service who are to be discharged under the Defence Forces Special Retirement Benefits Bill 1960?

4.   If no provisions has been made for payment in lieu of furlough to personnel being retrenched under the Army re-organization scheme, why has the department departed from established practice where retrenched Army personnel were previously paid pro rata amounts for as low as five years' service?

5.   If no such provision has been made, will the matter, in view of the commercial practice of accepting ten years' service as the minimum qualifying period for purposes of long service leave, be reconsidered; if not, why not?


Mr Cramer - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Existing conditions provide for a minimum qualifying period of fifteen years except in the circumstances mentioned in the question.

2.   There has been no general retrenchment since the introduction of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits Act.

3.   Although no special provision for furlough has been made for those retrenchees with more than six years but less than fifteen years' service, they will receive a lump sum payment of a fortnight's pay for each year of service. This is a better benefit than if furlough applied. 4 and S. Existing conditions do not provide for payment in lieu of furlough for less than fifteen years on retrenchment. The Alison Committee was appointed by the Government and considered the whole problem of compensation for those retrenched under the current Army re-organization. The Government accepted the committee's recommendations.







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