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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2481


Senator LEWIS(3.57) —Once again, Minister, I say that you have endeavoured to mislead the Parliament. I did not take a note of your words, but I think that you said something along these lines: `You will recall, that the onus of proof provisions have been changed'.


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Jones) —Senator Lewis, would you please address your remarks through the Chair and not directly to the Minister?


Senator LEWIS —I certainly will, Mr Temporary Chairman. Will you please tell the Minister that he has misled the Committee again. The Minister said that we must remember that the onus of proof provisions have been changed and we should not forget the High Court and the O'Brien case. The truth of the matter is that that provision relates to a claim under Part II. This is not a claim under Part II. Sub-clause (4) of section 35 states:

Where a person, being the claimant for a service pension satisfies the Commission . . .

The sub-section lists the three criteria a person has to satisfy. It states that the Commission shall make a determination after it has been satisfied. So for the Minister to imply that these people would be able to do an O'Brien is, with respect, misleading the Parliament.


Senator Missen —A red herring.


Senator LEWIS —Senator Missen says it is a red herring, but I think that it is worse than that. The Minister keeps coming back to Vietnam and saying that the only reason for not including Vietnam is lack of records and that he is not racist. I do not accuse him of being racist. That is why I said honestly to the Minister that when he reads tomorrow what he said today he will regret it. The truth of the matter is that it is this Government's detestation of the Vietnam war that is the problem. It is that detestation that makes this Government say: `Look, that war is different, and we will not provide for people even if they are United States citizens, or Thais, or Koreans, or Vietnamese. It does not matter where they came from, if they fought with our troops in Vietnam, Vietnam is out. We are saying this is where we will draw the line'. The Minister talked about saving money, but no money will be saved for this Government. The predicted saving of $20m, which I do not believe in, is for 1989-90. Glory be, I hope for the sake of Australia that the Minister's Party is not still in government by 1989-90.

Question put:

That the request (Senator Macklin's) be agreed to.