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Wednesday, 11 October 1972
Page: 1448

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) (Minister for Air) - Senator McLaren has expressed his view. I have informed him that an examination was made of this question. That examination established that reestablishment measures were aimed at assisting national servicemen to settle effectively in civilian employment following discharge and ensuring that they are not disadvantaged by their absence on national service. I think the honourable senator will agree with that. The examination also established that since 1963 a study of the ratio of prices received to prices paid for all rural products showed that greater emphasis has been placed on management in farming. Few national servicemen are likely to have the necessary skills. Regular servicemen are not likely to be up to date with modern farming techniques. It is estimated also that not more than 30 or 40 servicemen a year would qualify for land settlement and this number would not justify an extensive scheme throughout the Commonwealth. Finally, the examination showed that the cost of settling a man on the land would many times outweigh the assistance given to non-rural servicemen who probably served alongside him in Vietnam.

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