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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3082

Mr HASLEM (Canberra) - I shall take only a moment of the time of the House to mention this legislation. Firstly, I thank the Leader of the House (Mr Sinclair) and the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence (Mr McLeay) for allowing the legislation to come before the House today. With the pressure of business there was some risk earlier that we might not have been able to fit it in. This legislation, of course, is terribly important to a large number of people throughout Australia, particularly to exservicemen in the Australian Capital Territory whom I represent.

I should like to touch upon the two most important parts of the legislation. The first is the non-cessation in future of the spouse's pension on remarriage. This is a very important piece of progress, not only for ex-servicemen in general, ut also for women in particular. The second most important part of the legislation is the nondetriment provisions to protect certain late entrant officers transferring to the new scheme against any possible diminution of their pension entitlement for which they were contributing at the time of transfer. The amendment is to be effective from the date of commencement of the present scheme, namely, 1 October 1972. Other parts of the legislation are aimed at overcoming anomalies and technical defects in the Defence Force retirement and death benefits legislation. I commend the legislation to the House.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

Message from Governor-General recommending appropriation announced.

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