All posts by David

National Service Termination Act 1973

Are you one of the many who discharged from National Service when Gough Whitlam had National Service suspended in December 1972


National Service scheme was suspended in early December 1972, by the newly elected Labor party in the Federal Parliament.  This was done by Lance Barnard who suspended the operation of the scheme by administrative action, cancelling the call up of approximately  men who had been medically examined and deferring the liability of all men who had enlisted for service. National Servicemen already in the Army who did not wish to continue their service were released as quickly as possible.

In June 1973 the Whitlam Government passed the National Service Termination Act,giving legislative effect to Bernard’s administrative action. The Government also intended to repeal the National Service Act itself as soon as possible, but felt constrained to wait until National Servicemen who continued to serve under the Act had Completed their service and received all the benefits to which they were entitled under the Act. This state of affairs did not come about before the dismissal of the Whitlam Government on 11 November 1975

Were the words “Discharged on the ground of exceptional hardship” typed under the reason for discharge. If this is you, we need to come together to have this amended which would then entitle you to the Australian Defence Medal.

Send letters to your local Federal member outlining the fact that the reason what was stamped on the discharge papers was due to the fact that the units did not know how to deal with this situation.