Minister tours Civil Affairs projects DPR/TV/1418

Accession Number F04510
Collection type Film
Measurement 4 min 44 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Ford, John Alfred
Place made Vietnam: Phuoc Tuy Province
Date made June 1971
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

Midway through his tour of South Vietnam, the Minister for the Army, Mr Andrew Peacock spent a morning inspecting areas of Australian overseas aid in Phuoc Tuy Province. All Civil Aid in the province is provided through the Army, mainly by engineering, agricultural and education officers of the 1st Australian Civil Affairs Unit (Note: 1 Aust CA Unit is not part of 1 ATF although both are based at Nui Dat). Of particular interest to the Minister was a housing site in Baria, the Province Capital, where the army has been furthering the Australian Vietnamisation programme with the construction of homes for members of the local regional force. Here, members of the Vietnamese forces can live in relative comfort with their wives and children only a short distance from work. Much of the work is carried out by local contractors although the overall programme is supervised by Australians. 13 different housing sites have already been completed, mostly with locally manufactured bricks and other materials, whilst several more are still under construction. Each site provides ten home units. On the outskirts of Baria, Mr Peacock received expert instruction on animal husbandry by 4721421 2nd Lieutenant (2Lt) Robert James (Bob) Hannam, a national serviceman from Mt Torrens, SA, and an agricultural science graduate of the University of Adelaide. Pig raising would normally be outside an Army Minister's portfolio but in this case it wasn't. The animal husbandry service instructs the Phuoc Tuy farmers in better methods and attempts to improve breeding standards under 2Lt Hannam's supervision. At Dat Do, some miles from Baria, the official party wandered about a new high school site, yet another project undertaken by the civil affairs unit. When finished, it will be the most modern and up-to-date in the Province. The high school is also one of the many projects carried out in conjunction with local people. Even the women lend a hand with cement mixing. Wherever the Minister travelled during his time in Phuoc Tuy Province, there were signs of Australian assistance to the Vietnamese. Since April 1967 when the first Australian Civil Affairs unit was formed, 253 projects ranging from the establishment of a new village and the introduction of new crops, revolutionary on Vietnam's agricultural scene, to the provision of such things as basic school materials have been completed. For the Army Minister - a chance to see that all is not war in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. Also identified: 17144 Captain Peter Robert Rose, Engineer officer, 1 Aust CA Unit of Aramac, Qld; 3392 Brigadier Bruce Alexander McDonald; 335106 Major (Maj) John Stuart Baker of Canberra, ACT; 4905011 Maj Geoffrey Stanley (Jeff) Vercoe, OC 8Fd Ambulance.

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