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Monday, 20 August 2001
Page: 29815


Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 21 June 2001:

(1) In respect to his media release of 30 August 2000 headed “42,000 new medal entitlements for South East Asian Service 1955-75”, on what date did the Government submit the relevant instruments for the new awards to the Governor-General and what was the cause of the delay in doing so.

(2) How many applications has Defence received to date for the award of the (a) Imperial General Service Medal 1915-62 (Clasp Malaya), (b) Imperial General Service Medal (Clasp Borneo), (c) Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp Malaya), (d) Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp Malaysia) and (e) the Australian Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp SE Asia).

(3) How many applicants, if any, have actually been awarded each of the medals referred to in part (2).

(4) Since the 1998 election, has the Government provided any additional resources to the Medals Section of each respective Service to cope with additional medal entitlements; if so, what are the details; if not, what action is the Government taking to improve the processing of medal applications.


Mr Bruce Scott (Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The recommendations of the Review of Service Entitlement Anomalies in Respect of South-East Asian Service 1955-75 (SEA Review) resulted in numerous Medals Instruments requiring drafting or amendment during the implementation process. These Instruments required detailed legal assessment and clearance by both the Chief of the Defence Force and the Minister prior to final approval by the Governor-General. The Government submitted these Instruments to the Governor-General on 6 March 2001.

(2) The Service Medals Sections do not keep a tally of the number of applications received for specific medals as most applicants do not necessarily know exactly which medals they are entitled to. Generally, applications consist of requests for medals entitlement to be reviewed in light of the SEA Review and are counted as such.

Accordingly, the numbers of applications received to date by each Service Medals Section as a result of the SEA Review are as follows:

Navy Medals Section:

3067

Army Medals Section:

2920

Air Force Medals Section:

2235

Total:

8222

(3) (a) Imperial General Service Medal 1915-62 (Clasp Malaya): 0

(b) Imperial General Service Medal (Clasp Borneo): 29

(c) Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp Malaya): 603

(d) Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp Malaysia) 404

(e) Australian Service Medal 1945-75 (Clasp SE Asia) 1693

(4) Yes. Since the 1998 election, the Service Medals Sections have been working overtime to reduce the backlog of applications. Overtime ceased on June 2000 and resumed on April 2001 after the Governor-General's approval of the medals Instruments was gained.

To assist with the workload, the Army Medals Section has been provided with additional staff in the form of one APS4 and four APS2 level personnel. Arrangements are currently being made to provide the Navy Medals Section with two APS3s and two APS2s. One APS3 and two APS2s are being provided to the Air Force Medals Section. Additionally, to cope with the applications that will be generated from the introduction of the new Anniversary of National Service 1951-1972 Medal, arrangements are also being made to employ two additional ASPS3s and two APS2s.