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Tuesday, 20 October 1970

Mr PEACOCK (KOOYONG, VICTORIA) (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister) - My recollection of the matter is that the provisions of the Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Act apply to servicemen serving in Vietnam. Members serving in places other than Viet nam are entitled to cover under the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act in the event of injury or any medical condition which can be attributed to their Army employment. A soldier who is injured whilst not on duty is generally not covered by the Act unless he is travelling to or from duty. In ordinary circumstances, however, a soldier who is being medically treated in a hospital as a result of injury, irrespective of its cause - if it was sustained in Australia - may have his pay and allowances continued for a period of 6 months from the day the injury was received or treatment was begun, while if the condition developed or the injury was sustained while he was overseas his pay and allowances would continue for a period of 12 months. At the expiration of the period he would be discharged from the Army if he did not come within the various categories of Army medical standards and his further treatment would then be governed under the Repatriation Act that T have mentioned and the Compensation Act that I mentioned. However, after being discharged and if his removal from hospital is considered to be detrimental to his health, further treatment can be authorised. I am concerned by the preamble of the honourable member's question in regard to national service trainees. I will examine it in greater detail than I can give here today from my recollection. I shall send him a reply as soon as possible.

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