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Thursday, 21 September 1972
Page: 1803


Mr HOLTEN (Indi) (Minister for Repatriation) - 1 move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The Bill before the House is in accordance with the usual practice of the Government to keep the rates of pensions and allowances payable to seamen war pensioners under the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Act in line with the similar rates payable to other war pensioners under the Repatriation Act. The main purpose of the Bill is to increase, in relation to seamen, the various rates of war pensions as announced by the Treasurer (Mr Snedden) in his Budget Speech and being put into effect by the current Repatriation Bill. Under the Bill the existing basic general rate pension is increased from $12 to $14 a week and the existing basic widow's pension is increased ft om $18.25 to $20 a week. As I explained earlier, under the Repatriation Bill, the different levels of general rate and war widow pensions, according to rank held during war service, are being discontinued. The corresponding differential rates in the First Schedule to the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Act, according to th: rate of pay at time of war injury, are being discontinued under this Bill. The 'intermediate' rate of war pension is being increased b/ S2.75 a week to $34, and the ordinary weekly rate of allowance for an attendant for a specially handicapped seaman pensioner is increased from S9.50 to $K!.50, ;he special rate payable where both arms have been lost being increased from $16 to $17.50 a week.

The Bill also increases the pension rates in respect of the children of deceased seamen coming under the Act. The weekly rate for each child rises to S7.35. Where the mother is dead also, the rate rises to $14.70 for each child. Under the Repatriation Bill, as previously explained, in the case of certain children receiving full time education, amendments are being made in respect of the continuation of their pensions until the age of 21 years is reached. Similar amendments are being made to the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances . Act under this Bill.

The Bill does not have to provide for the increase of $3.50 to $48 a week in the rate of total and permanent incapacity pension, or for the various increases in the weekly amounts payable in respect of the disabilities described in ' the Fifth Schedule to the Repatriation Act. as the increased rates under that Act will apply automatically to seamen pensioners by virtue of section 22a of the Seamen's War - Pensions and Allowances Act. The increases in pensions will, as usual, be payable on the first pension pay day after the date on which the Act receives the royal assent. I commend the Bill to the House.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barnard) adjourned.

REPATRIATION BILL (No. 2) 1972 Second Reading

Debate resumed (vide page 1 802).


Mr Chipp - May I have the indulgence of the House to raise a point of procedure on this legislation? Before the debate on this Bill is resumed I would like to suggest that it may suit the convenience of the House to have a general debate covering this Bill, the Repatriation (Special Overseas Service) Bill, the Repatriation (Far East Strategic

Reserve) Bill and the Seamen's War Pensions and Allowances Bill (No. 2) as they are related measures. Of course, separate questions may be put on each of the Bills at the conclusion of the debate. 1 suggest therefore, Mr Deputy Speaker, that you permit the subject matter of the 4 Bills to be discussed in this debate.

Mir DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Drury)Is it the wish of the House to have a general debate covering the 4 measures? There being no objection, I will allow that course to be followed.







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