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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Wallis asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

In order to obviate the necessity for many pensioners to rely on charitable collections of second-hand spectacles, will he consider bringing down legislation to provide assistance where needed for age and invalid pensioners in the examination for and the supply of spectacles.

Dr Forbes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The only form of free medical treatment at present provided under the National Health Scheme is that available to eligible pensioners and their dependants through the Pensioner Medical Service. This comprises a free medical service of a general practitioner nature, such as that normally provided by a doctor in his surgery or in the patient's home, but does not extend to the provision of specialist treatment or to allied health services such as those provided by optometrists.

Careful consideration has been given from time to time to extending the scope of the Pensioner Medical Service, but it has not been found possible to do so up to the present.

In these circumstances, I cannot promise an early move towards the provision of Commonwealth assistance under the Pensioner Medical Service in regard to the examination for and supply of spectacles.

It may be of interest to the honourable member that at the two public hospitals in Adelaide - the Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Adelaide - I understand a full optometrical service is available free of charge to pensioners.

Stale Companies Act: Election of Directors (Question No. 913)

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the AttorneyGeneral, upon notice:

(1)   ls it a fact that at least one State Companies Act clearly requires that one-third of the directors of a public company must retire from office each year and, if desirous of continuing in office, must face an election by shareholders once every three years.

(2)   If so, will he look again at his reply to question No. 420 (Hansard, 16tb April 1970), page 1313) which slates that there is no provision in the companies legislation of the States and Territories fixing a maximum term of office for directors of public companies.

Mr Hughes - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No State Companies Act so provides. The term of office for which a director of a company can be elected is governed by the company's articles of association. For this purpose, a company may adopt what rules it chooses. Thus, a company might provide for two-yearly or five-yearly terms. A company may, but need not, adopt paragraphs 64, 65 and 66 of Table A in the Fourth Schedule to the Companies Act or, in the case of a no liability company, paragraphs 47, 48 and 49 of Table B in that Schedule.

(2)   The answer to Question No. 420 does not seem to me to be inconsistent with (1).

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