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Thursday, 28 November 1985
Page: 2493

Senator GIETZELT (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)(5.09) —The Government rejects the amendment. A decoration allowance of $1 per week is payable only where a veteran in receipt of a disability pension has been awarded a decoration for gallantry in war or war-like operations. Both the Cross of Valour and the Star of Courage were initiated in 1975. As far as we can ascertain, only one veteran, a policeman who served in Cyprus as a member of the Peacekeeping Force, has been granted a Star of Courage and is receiving a disability pension from my Department.

I ask the Committee: Is it seriously proposed that this Bill be amended and possibly delayed to enable one person to receive an extra dollar a week? If it is, I suggest that the proposal is quite irresponsible and should be given hardly any serious consideration having regard to the general value of the Veteran's Entitlements Bill. I emphasise that the list of decorations specified in clause 102 (5) of the VEB is as recommended by the Advisory Committee on Repatriation Legislation Review. The Government is, therefore, not prepared to support eleventh-hour amendments of this nature. However, in order to accommodate Senator Macklin's view, I will ensure that a review of gallantry awards for inclusion in the legislation in the future is undertaken.