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Thursday, 12 September 1985
Page: 516

(Question No. 324)

Senator Mason asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 29 May 1985:

(1) What is the timetable for the introduction of new uniforms for the Army.

(2) Has the date for the introduction of new uniforms been altered; if so, what was the original date.

(3) Are the `old' uniforms no longer available for sale, new, to soldiers, and are the `new' uniforms, as yet, unavailable also; if so, will the Minister for Defence issue an order that soldiers who are unavoidably out of uniform because they cannot buy replacement uniforms for those which they wear out, are not to be punished for that reason.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) There is no current timetable for the introduction of new uniforms for the Army. The Male Uniform Development project which was for the replacement of the existing range of male non-combat uniforms was suspended in late 1984 as it was considered that the purchase of operational and combat related equipment should take priority over a new range of uniforms.

(2) Yes. The range of new uniforms was to be introduced over the period 1989-1992.

(3) All current, non-combat uniforms are available for sale, new, to serving soldiers of the Australian Regular Army. A uniform maintenance allowance is provided for this purpose. In the case of serving Army Reserve soldiers, clothing no longer suitable for wear is exchanged free for serviceable clothing. Combat clothing is issued free to all soldiers and can be exchanged when necessary.