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Wednesday, 13 May 1970

Mr Foster asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   Is he able to say whether distress or anxiety is sometimes causedto parents and their sons who are called up for national service when, after initial medical examination, the youths are referred, by letter from his Department, for a specialist medical or eye examination.

(2)   If so, will he endeavour to avoid this anxiety by directing his Department to inform the inductee of the reason for the specialist examination.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) I am not aware that any undue concern is being caused to men, or the close relations of men who are referred to a consulting specialist by an examining Medical Board, nor should there be. A national serviceman must be fit physically and mentally for all service duties under full combat conditions anywhere in the world and no man can be enlisted for national service while there is any doubt about his fitness. That a man does not meet the required Army standards does not necessarily mean that he is unfit by normal civilian standards or that he is unable to pursue his normal civilian occupation or that he should be unduly concerned about his health. Where an examining Medical Board is of the opinion that a young man should in his own interests obtain medical advice or treatment, he is informed of this and advised to consult his own doctor. This advice is repeated in the official notice sent to him by my Department.

Petrol Prices (Question No. 919)

Mr Stewart (LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for

Customs and Excise, upon notice:

What method is used to establish the standard price of petrol in Australia.

Mr Chipp - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

It is my understanding that the oil industry throughout Australia bases its wholesale pricing structure for petroleum products on the determinations of the South Australian Prices Commissioner.

I am informed that the oil industry regularly submits details of its costs to the Commissioner for examination. If considered necessary the South Australian Prices Commissioner, after examination of changes in costs incurred by the oil industry, determines fresh wholesale prices which the oil companies by agreement apply throughout Australia.

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