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Tuesday, 5 November 1996
Page: 6605

(Question No. 775)

Mr Latham asked the Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel, upon notice, on 19 September 1996:

(1) How many applications has the Medals Validation Unit (Navy) received for the Australian Service Medal.

(2) How many staff are employed to process these applications.

(3) When will successful applicants be awarded the Australian Service Medal.

Mrs Bishop —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Between 19 April 1994 and 29 October 1996, 6,620.

(2) Two staff employed full-time, other staff assist when their workloads permit.

(3) As at 29 October 1996, 2,489 Australian Service Medal 1945-75 and Clasps have been issued. A further 643 medals have been validated and are awaiting Vice-Regal approval and another 1,000 are presently being engraved prior to despatch. However, as Service Records are not computerised, all validation of awards has to be done manually and some delay in despatch of awards is inevitable.