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Thursday, 25 November 1971
Page: 3764

Mr Hurford (ADELAIDE, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for

Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   Was the sending of notices relating to deferment from National Service delayed this year, at least in South Australia, so that young citizens received their notices 4 months later than in previous years.

(2)   Has there been a change regarding deferments by placing a time limit on them irrespective of whether or not the course for which deferment was granted has been completed or not.

(3)   Are those 6,000 or so younger citizens whose National Service has been deferred being called to medical examinations now; if so, why.

(4)   Are those who are claiming avoidance of National Service on the grounds of conscientious objection being asked to undergo a medical examination before going to Court in the hope that they will be declared medically unfit.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (2) Deferments for studies or training are granted subject to completion of the qualification sought in good time to enable a man to undertake the service for which he is liable. This has always been the case. Continuation of deferment is considered in relation to progress a man makes with his course. Deferments are accordingly reviewed annually and notices are sent out at the beginning of the year to those who have previously indicated their intention of continuing in order to obtain details of their progress and reenrolment. The grant of further deferment is notified progressively, as this advice is received. In 1971, notices were sent out about 2 months later than previously so that the young men concerned would not be asked to obtain the necessary information from education institutions while they were partly closed during the long vacation.

(3)   No. Only those who have been granted deferment and who expect to complete their studies or iraining this year are being medically examined with a view to call-up in January next.

(4)   Registrants seeking exemption from the liability to render military service on grounds of conscientious beliefs are normally advised that they, may, if they wish, complete any period of deferment for which they are eligible and have their fitness for service determined before their application is heard by a court. If a man does not meet the standards required for service and will not be called up there is no purpose in him taking his case for exemption through the courts.

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