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B40/1991 QUALIFYING SERVICE ON HMAS WARRNAMBOOL REASSESSMENT OF INTERPRETATION OF THE SHORT SERVICE CLAUSE
DATE OF ISSUE: 02 August 1991
QUALIFYING SERVICE ON HMAS WARRNAMBOOL REASSESSMENT OF INTERPRETATION OF THE SHORT SERVICE CLAUSE
This instruction is to advise staff that the Department of Defence has reassessed the interpretation of the short service clause mentioned in the Royal Warrant governing award of the Naval General Service Medal with Clasp Minesweeping.
This "short service" clause in the Royal Warrant states that:
"where qualifying service is brought to an end before completion of the required six months, as a result of death, wounds or other disability due to service, the reduced period qualifies for the Medal".
Section 36 (a) (ii) provides for qualifying service to be granted to Australian veterans who served after 29 October 1945 and were awarded or were eligible for specified minesweeping or bomb and mine clearance awards. Minimum time periods are specified in the criteria relating to the awards. The required period of qualifying service for award of this medal was six months (180 days) service afloat whilst actually performing Minesweeping duties.
Previously, interpretation of this short service clause has meant that personnel on board HMAS WARRNAMBOOL, which sank on 13 September 1947, and who had performed less than the required six months qualifying service would only be awarded the medal if they had been physically injured as a result of the accident and subsequent sinking.
Due to the reassessment of the short service clause any personnel serving on board HMAS WARRNAMBOOL at the time it was sunk are now considered to be eligible for the award of the Naval General Service Medal with Clasp Minesweeping.
The Department of Defence has advised that this reassessment of the short service clause will affect 27 ex members of HMAS WARRNAMBOOL who had previously been listed as not qualifying for the award of the medal.
The list of the 27 exmembers affected by this reassessment have been forwarded to each State Program Manager (Benefits). Branch Office records will need to be checked to ensure that none of these people have previously applied for Veterans' entitlements and been rejected on the grounds of ineligibility.
If this situation has arisen, it will be necessary to advise such persons (where possible) of their eligibility. Where there has been no contact or record of contact with the Department by any of these persons, please note these changes for future claimants.
If you have any queries regarding this Departmental Instruction, please contact Pat Webb at Central Office on (06) 289 6444.
ACTING NATIONAL PROGRAM DIRECTOR