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Wednesday, 31 October 1956

Mr ROBERTON (Riverina) (Minister for Social Services) (1:23 AM) . - I move -

That paragraph (d) be omitted with a view to inserting the following paragraph in place thereof - " (d) that person, not being a person to whom the last preceding paragraph applies, served, after the commencement of the Repatriation (Far East Strategic Reserve) Act 1956, in an area prescribed to be, or to have been, an operational area for the purposes of this paragraph.'.".

The committee will appreciate that this bill was introduced in another place. That fact afforded an opportunity for the Minister in charge of war service homes, and those members of the Government interested in this question, to review the purposes of the bill. It became obvious that the provision to confine eligibility for war service homes to members of the strategic reserve who become entitled to repatriation benefits was too restrictive to cover the particular circumstances, and the proposed amendment is designed to widen the scope of the bill. The amendment provides that eligibility will be determined on the simple basis of service in an operational area during the period that the area is prescribed by the GovernorGeneral as an operational area. This amendment liberalizes the eligibility provisions to the degree that qualifies members who serve in a prescribed operational area without regard to entitlement for repatriation benefits and, I am sure, will meet with the approval of every member of the House.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Remainder of bill - by leave - taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill reported with an amendment.

Report - by leave - adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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