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Defence service in south east Asia in the period 1955-1975 to be reviewed

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Media ReleaseThe Hon Bruce Scott MRMinister fo r Vetemns’Affairs · Minister Assisting the Minister fo r Defence · Federal Member fo r MamnoaWednesday, May 5. 1999 MIN 128/99DEFENCE SERVICE IN SOUTH EAST ASIA IN THE PERIOD 1955-1975 TO BE REVIEWEDAn independent review will be held into veterans' entitlements to repatriation benefits and medals for Australian Defence Force service in South East Asia between 1955^ and 1975.The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Assisting the Minister for Defence, Mr Bruce Scott, announced the review during the 26th Federal Conference of the Naval Association of Australia now underway in Canberra.“The review will provide advice about relevant matters to be taken into account for subsequent assessment by the Government of entitlements to repatriation benefits and service medals flowing from this service,” Mr Scott said.The Minister said the review will result in a written report covering areas of service including:• RAAF Ubon in Thailand;• RAAF Butterworth in Malaysia;• Service in Malaya during the period of the Confrontation with Indonesia;and . ·â€¢ Other service in South East Asia during the period 1955 to 1975 where prima facie evidence is presented to the review of possible anomalies.The review will be undertaken by an independent inquirer, to be announced shortly, who will be advised by a retired senior Australian Defence Force officer.“Of most interest to the naval audience is the fact that the review will examine service with the naval component of the Far East Strategic Reserve. Specifically, it will compare the conditions prescribed for the naval contingent with those personnel from the other two services,” Mr Scott said.Mr Scott said that the review would involve consultation with ex-service organisations and receive submissions from interested groups.“My intention is that the review provide robust, independent advice to the Government on the appropriate treatment of Australian Defence Force service in South East Asia over the two decades between 1955 and 1975,” he said.“The report will be made public on completion, which I expect to be at the end of October.”Media Contact: Michael Priebe on 02 6277 7820 or 0418 482 514