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Wednesday, 13 May 1987
Page: 3079

Mr HAND —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. It concerns the appointment of Mr Bob Hogg as a consultant to prepare a submission regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on the Use and Effects of Chemical Agents on Australian Personnel in Vietnam. In view of the common belief that Vietnam veterans did not receive adequate independent representation during the Commission, will the Minister assure the House and all Vietnam veterans that their views on the findings of the Commission will be received and taken into account in the preparation of the Government's response? Will representatives of the thousands of Vietnam veterans who are not represented by the Returned Services League or the Vietnam Veterans' Association of Australia be entitled to the same access as those groups? Can the Minister inform the House whether the Minister for Veterans' Affairs intends to meet with such representatives, and particularly, when he will meet with Victorian Vietnam veterans groups, such as the Victorian branch of the Vietnam Veterans' Association?

Mr HOLDING —As the honourable member knows, Mr Hogg is a man who has always considered all views put before him, and I think that that will be his approach in this very important matter. The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has never refused to meet any representative leader of veterans, and that will continue to be his position.