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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2493

Senator MACKLIN(5.07) —I move:

(14) Sub-clause 102 (5), after paragraph (c), add:

``(d) the Cross of Valour; and

(e) the Star of Courage.''.

This clause relates to decorations. The imperial decorations awarded for gallantry are listed in sub-clause 102 (5) (a). Since the introduction of the Australian awards in 1975 imperial awards are not applicable to the Australian defence forces. No gallantry awards have been introduced specifically for the defence forces, although this may be rectified. I have had an answer from the Minister with regard to this, which says that the interdepartmental committee which has been looking at this and reviewing the subject of awards, medals and decorations for the defence forces has presented its report to the Minister and the Minister currently is inquiring into it. There are two decorations, the Cross of Valour and the Star of Courage, which could be said to be the equivalent of the George Cross and the George Medal. The Cross of Valour and the Star of Courage like the George Cross and the George Medal can be applicable not only to defence forces but also to other groups in the community, such as the police and the fire brigade. It seems odd that the imperial decorations, which are now no longer applicable to the Australian defence forces, have been included, yet the Australian awards have not. One would imagine that when the Australian gallantry awards are issued in due course, they will be included. One would have thought that some reference would have been made to them in this clause to allow that to happen in the event that they are so issued.