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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2447

Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(11.01) —The Bill requires that a claimant be allotted for special service. A certificate to this effect will be issued by the Minister for Defence. He has no obligation to provide that until the Act is proclaimed. When the Senate passes the legislation the Minister will verify the written information that he has given to me. He cannot act on an anticipated view of the Senate. The moment the legislation is passed he will confirm the information he has made available to me and when all of those persons make their applications the applications will be dealt with immediately.

Senator Macklin —It is not true that it is possible to do that under the current Act as it now stands?

Senator GIETZELT —Under the current Act those people concerned, who the honourable senator has designated, are not eligible because--

Senator Macklin —Because they haven't been declared to have been on operational service.

Senator GIETZELT —The Department of Defence has for many years not been prepared to designate these persons as being eligible for repatriation benefits. As far as we are concerned, the instrument will be recognised for purposes of entitlement under the Veterans' Entitlements Bill.

Request (by Senator Macklin) put:

That the House of Representatives be requested to make the following amendment:

Sub-clause 6 (1), after paragraph (n), add the following new word and paragraph:

``; and (o) a person who has rendered continuous full-time service aboard a vessel while that vessel was engaged in supporting or supplying members of the Defence Force located in the Republic of Vietnam shall be taken to have been rendering operational service while the person was so rendering that continuous full-time service.''.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Jones) — Order! The question is that the request be agreed to. All those in favour say aye, against say no. I think the noes have it.

Senator Gietzelt —I point out to the Committee, Mr Temporary Chairman, that Senator Macklin's amendment, though put in good faith, would narrow the position provided for in the legislation.

Senator Macklin —On a point of order, Mr Temporary Chairman: I believe that the vote has been taken.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN —Order! I have said that the noes have it. Is a division required?

Senator Macklin —Yes.