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House of representatives recalled



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PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA, A CT. 2 6 0 0 TEL. (0 6 2 ) 7 2 1211

Date 29.5.1985 Ref SV 'phone 858.3367

The House of Representatives has been recalled to sit on Friday, 31st May due to the Opposition's success in imposing a sunset clause in veterans' repatriation legislation, Federal Member for Dundas and Opposition Spokesman on Immigration & Ethnic Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today.

'The simple fact of the matter is that the Federal Government used indecent haste to amend repatriation legislation from its so-called May Mini-budget and the Opposition has now succeeded in ensuring that the interests of ex-service personnel are protected.'

Mr Ruddock explained that the Government's legislation sought to rush through amendments to sections dealing with the onus of proof in applications seeking benefits, and the Opposition's amendment would allow for the legislation to be reviewed, after six months, 'during which time consultation with ex-service groups and associations can proceed. 1

Mr Ruddock said the electorate ought to be aware that the Prime Minister had clearly disregarded an undertaking he had given to the Australian people when he stated "I can also reitterate this Government's commitment

to full consultation with the ex-service community and the promise that a draft of the new Veterans' Entitlement legislation will be provided to the ex-service community for comment and discussion as soon as it is finished."

'The Prime Minister has broken faith with ex-service personnel.'

Mr Ruddock went on to say that the Government's acceptance of the amendment indicates that it mismanaged the Parliamentary programme with regard to this legislation because, given adequate time for debate and consider­

ation of the issue, he had no doubt that the Government would have reached the same decision and therefore the recalling of Parliament would not have been necessary.

Mr Ruddock said the Government's haste to impose legislation which would affect ex-service men 'was just another example of its desperate attempt to appear to be cutting spending before the electorate fully realises just what a big-spending, socialist government it really is.'

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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

OFFICE OF PHILIP RUDDOCK. M.P. MEMBER FOR DUNDAS SHADOW MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS

SUITE 3 0 2 EASTWOOD CENTRE 1 60 ROWE STREET EASTWOOD, N S W. 2 1 2 2 TEL. 8 5 8 1011

Press Release

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES RECALLED