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Australia is defined in the Acts Interpretations Act 1901 and includes the following territories and Islands:
- Christmas Island
- Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Subsection 5Q(1) of the VEA provides specifically that the definition of Australia includes the external territories for many VEA purposes including Part III, IIIAB, some parts of Part IIIB, Parts IIID, VIIA, VIIC and sections 52ZO, 58A, and 132. Norfolk Island] is currently the only external territory of Australia. For the above VEA sections, which cover service pension, [glossary:income support supplement:118], pension bonus, pension loans scheme, Veterans supplement, pension supplement and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card purposes it is considered to be part of Australia. The test of residing in Australia does not by itself satisfy the full definition of Australian Resident, as residency also requires Australian citizenship or the holding of a specified visa.
Papua New Guinea and Nauru have both previously been external territories of Australia. Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island, formerly regarded as separate islands, are now part of mainland NSW and Tasmania respectively.
A service pension is an income support payment broadly equivalent to the social security age and disability support pensions. It may be paid once a veteran or partner has reached the nominated age or is incapacitated for work.
The pension supplement is added to a person's maximum basic rate. The pension supplement is calculated as a 'combined couple' rate. The 'not a member of a couple' rate is 66.33% of the 'combined couple' rate. The member of a couple rate is 50% of the combined couple rate. From 1 July 2010, the minimum pension supplement amount will be able to be claimed on a quarterly basis rather than on a fortnightly basis.
The CSHC is intended to assist those retirees and other eligible veterans, war widow(er)s and their partners of pension age who fail to qualify for an income support pension from DVA or a pension or benefit from Centrelink. The card entitles the holder to pharmaceuticals listed on the PBS at a concessional rate and seniors supplement.
An Australian resident is a person who:
- resides in Australia; and
- is one of the following:
- an Australian citizen;
- the holder of a permanent visa;
- the holder of a special category visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia;
- the holder of a special purpose visa who is likely to remain permanently in Australia.
The territories of Papua and New Guinea ceased to be external territories of Australia on 16 September 1975. However, any non-indigenous person who was residing there immediately before that date is considered to be an Australian resident until such time as he or she ceases to reside in Papua New Guinea.
Nauru was an External Territory of Australia until 31 December 1968. Therefore, it is possible for a person who was resident in Nauru between 17 December 1920 and 31 August 1968 to be considered an Australian resident only in respect of any period within those two dates.
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