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Wednesday, 19 April 1972
Page: 1255

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

It is 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 rates of pensions and allowances payable to other war pensioners under the Repatriation Act. The purpose of the Bill now before the Senate is to raise, in relation to seamen, the various rates of pension in line with the increases in corresponding rates being made in the Repatriation Bill just introduced.

Clause 3 of the Bill increases the intermediate rate of war pension by $1 a week to $31.25. The intermediate pension is paid to seriously disabled persons whose warcaused incapacities render them incapable of working other than on a part-time basis, or intermittently. Clause 4 substitutes a new First Schedule to the Act to provide for an increase of $1 in the weekly rate of pension payable to widows of Australian mariners.

The Bill does not have to provide for the increase of $2 to $44.50 a week in the rate of TPI pension, or for 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. As usual, the pension increases will be payable on the first pension pay day after the date on which the Bill receives the royal assent. I commend the Bill to the Senate.

Debate (on motion by Senator Poyser) adjourned.

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