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Hawke government most anti-RSL government in Australia's history

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"The Hawke Socialist Government will be remembered as the most ANTI-RSL Government in Australia's history," Opposition Front Bencher, Mr Michael Hodgman, QC said in Parliament today.

Mr Hodgman, who leads for the Opposition in Veterans' Affairs matters in the House of Representatives, said that Mr Hawke had dishonoured a firm commitment to consult with the RSL on major amendments to repatriation legislation; had betrayed Australia's

650,0 00 ex servicemen and women and their dependants, and had now been brought to account by /the Senate. .

"The very amendments which we in the Opposition were prevented from moving in the House of Representatives Debate - a shameful . 45 minutes - last week,are now being accepted by this deceitful Government today - because the Senate had the guts to stand them up. The Government has been shamed into consulting with the RSL and ex service organisations - or its legislation will

lapse", Mr Hodgman said. Mr Hodgman urged ex servicemen and women not to send their medals back to Mr Hawke.

"By the time the medals get there, this Government will be well and truly on the way out - no ex servicemen or ex servicewomen in Australia will ever vote for the ALP again", Mr Hodgman said.

Mr Hodgman said that he believed that the present problems involving Section 47 of the Act could be resolved by conĀ­ sultation.

"Perhaps the rule in Briginshaw's case may be the solution. In any event, Mr Hawke and his colleagues are now going to be forced to the conference table with the RSL", Mr Hodgman said.


Friday, 31 May 1985.