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Wednesday, 8 May 1968

Mr Scholes asked the Minister for 'the Army, upon notice:

1.   How many Citizen Military Forces officers are scheduled to visit Vietnam this year?

2.   For what period do these officers remain in Vietnam?

3.   Have any Citizen Military Forces officers been injured 'during such visits?

4.   Are these officers covered by the provision of the Repatriation Act should they be injured during their tour of duty in Vietnam or while travelling to or from Vietnam?

5.   What cover is provided to compensate the officer in the case of injury or illness resulting from such a visit?

6.   What pension right, etc., is available to an officer's widow should he die as a result of such a visit?

7.   Do personal insurance policies cover injuries that may occur in a war zone?

Mr Lynch - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follows:

1.   Forty-one CMF officers have so far visited Vietnam this year. It is planned. that six officers visit the theatre each fortnight.

2.   Fourteen days.

3.   None has been a notifiable casualty.

4.   5 and 6. The officers are entitled to the normal benefits of the Repatriation Act if they suffer death or disability from an occurrence, including the contracting of a disease, which occurred as a result of action by hostile forces.

If a CMF officer should be killed as a result of hostile action his widow would be entitled to the normal Repatriation Pension.

Where death or disability occurred in circumstances which were not the result of action by hostile forces, the case would be dealt with under the normal conditions applicable to soldiers serving in Australia or in overseas areas not prescribed as Special Areas for the purpose of the Repatriation Act. In summary -

(a)   Death or disability arising in circumstances covered by the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act, would be dealt with under that Act and the appropriate pension, compensation or medical treatment arranged in accordance with the provisions of that Act.

(b)   Where illness or injury, however it arose, required medical treatment, the normal Army medical treatment and grant of sick leave would apply to the individual concerned before his period of full-time duty is terminated.

7.   Personal insurance is a matter for the individual officer. It is, however, understood that some life assurance policies preclude payment for death due to warlike operations while others require the payment of an additional premium to cover war risk. It is also understood that accident insurance policies may be obtained subject to a similar loading on policies.

Official Overseas Visits by Parliamentarians (Question No. 163)

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Prime Minister, upon notice:

Will he bring up to date the information regarding official overseas visits by Parliamentarians which he supplied on 11 May 1967 in answer to Question No. 143 (Hansard, 11 May 1967, pages 2122-2128)?

Mr Gorton - The answer to the honourable member's question is:

Information supplied to me indicates that up to 1 May 1968 the following Senators and Members have been members of official Parliamentary delegations abroad or have travelled overseas officially since the reply was given to Question 2128). Visits by Ministers on Parliamentary, rather No. 143 (Hansard, 11 May 1967, pages 2122- than Ministerial, business have been included.


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