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Tuesday, 31 March 1987
Page: 1831

Mr HODGMAN(10.55) —I have the honour to inform the House that after 23 years out of uniform I am now back in uniform, having been appointed Deputy Senior Officer, Tasmania, of the Naval Reserve cadets, with the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. That gives me very great pleasure. On a completely bipartisan basis, having worn the Queen's uniform from 1952 to 1963-I signed up in 1952, two days after the death of King George VI-I am very proud to be back in the ranks in a voluntary and honorary capacity.

The last two weeks have seen the inspection of every Naval Reserve cadet unit in Tasmania by the newly appointed Naval Officer, Commanding Tasmania, Commander John Brown, ADC RAN, in company with Commander Geoff Seymour, who is the Senior Officer for Tasmania, Naval Reserve cadets, me as Deputy Senior Officer, and Lieutenant Danny Jackson, RAN, the Supply Officer of HMAS Huon. I take the opportunity to place on record my admiration of those involved in the six Naval Reserve cadet units in Tasmania. The first unit inspected was the TS Derwent in Hobart, under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Tony Lee; a fine unit, which I was proud to be a member of, and which is going on from strength to strength. We then went up to the electorate of Braddon where there are three excellent units-TS Emu at Burnie under the command of Lieutenant Phil Anderson; TS Leven at Ulverstone under the command of Lieutenant Gordon Fuller and TS Mersey at Devonport under the command of Lieutenant-Commander David Andrews. There are very strong seafaring and historic links on the north-west coast of Tasmania and I was particularly delighted that the honourable member for Braddon (Mr Miles) was able to attend the inspection of TS Leven at Ulverstone last Saturday.

We then went into northern Tasmania, where there are two training ships. The first we inspected was TS York at George Town, with seagoing facilities at Low Head. That training ship is under the command of Lieutenant Kelvin Coker. Last but by no means least is TS Tamar at Launceston, under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Malcolm Smith. These six units have approximately 250 officers, instructors and cadets-both young men and young women. Very significantly, they are backed in each instance by very strong committees, made up mainly of the parents of the cadets and also by the Navy League, which still continues to operate with great distinction in Tasmania. It is particularly pleasing not only that there has been strong community support from service clubs and the like, which have been excellent, but also that the Government has continued to provide uniforms and equipment on a very good basis. I was pleased to see surplus equipment from the Royal Australian Navy being utilised in these units. The operation is extremely good.

Mr Barry Jones —How many full time staff are involved?

Mr HODGMAN —None; they are all volunteers. It is opportune for me to place on record, I am sure on behalf of both sides of the House, our gratitude to Captain Bob Ray, Director of Naval Reserves, Royal Australian Navy, who will shortly retire from the RAN. He has given outstanding service in charge of reserves and cadets throughout Australia and has done a great job for this country and for those who believe in the Naval Reserve and cadets.

Lastly, I would like to say how thrilling it is to note that Tasmania has the highest per capita enrolment of trainees attending the Australian Defence Force Academy who wish to go into the Royal Australian Navy. Tasmania is the seafaring State, and to the young members of the cadet units in Tasmania who are planning to go into the Australian Defence Force Academy this year, I am sure that honourable members on both sides of the House would wish them all the very best as they enter a career serving in Her Majesty's Royal Australian Navy.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

House adjourned at 10.59 p.m.