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Wednesday, 2 May 1973
Page: 1602

Mr ERWIN (Ballaarat) - In his second reading speech the Minister for Housing (Mr Les Johnson) said:

As we consider this measure an essential one in our program to improve Service conditions we feel as a matter of equity that it should also be extended to those national servicemen serving at 6 December 1972 who voluntarily chose to complete the period of service for which they were originally enlisted.

That was for 18 months. The Minister went on:

The retention of those young men who chose to remain is seen as valuable in the transition from a partly conscripted Army to an all-volunteer force.

I would like the Minister to qualify, if he can, this portion of his statement and tell the House how this improves Service conditions - that is, how does the granting of eligibility for service homes to young national service trainees, who are signed up to serve 18 months, improve Service conditions. I also wish to ask the Minister how many of these young men who were serving at 6th December have chosen to remain in the Regular Army.

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