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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1448

Senator McLAREN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - 1 would like to raise a matter dealing with that part of the second reading speech of the Minister for Air (Senator Drake-Brockman), which reads:

A comprehensive review of the scheme has been undertaken by the Department of Primary Industry. As a result, some further adjustments may bc introduced lo offset particular difficulties where such are demonstrated. The Government will, as necessary, effect improvements in the war service land settlement scheme . . . 1 have raised several times in this chamber the matter of the difficulties of returned soldiers from Vietnam who are unable to secure soldier settlement leases because the Act has not been amended to cater for them. I refer specifically to the Loxton irrigation area and the dispossessed blocks of soldiers of the First and Second World Wars who, due to age and other personal difficulties, have been unable to carry on. There is no provision in the present Act to allocate these blocks to returned servicemen from the Vietnam war or to those who have served in the regular Army. By reason of the fact that there is no such provision in the Act, if a person who qualifies because, of service in the First or Second World War does not apply for these leases, these blocks are put on the open market and sold to people who have no war service. No consideration is given to those people who have served in Vietnam or who have been members of the permanent Army. 1 would like the Minister for Air to enlighten me as to whether this has been considered since he said in his second reading speech that he is considering some amendments to the Act. Could the Minister enlighten me on these aspects?

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