Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the Federal Government was committed to delivering the support and services required by our current and former military personnel.
Mr Joyce said the Government had delivered on an election promise and delivered the first Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families to Parliament.
“The Statement is the first of its kind and reported on the support and services Australia currently provides to its veterans and areas where that support needs to improve,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Statement was part of the Coalition’s election policy, which aimed at giving veterans a greater voice and delivering a commitment to an independent Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“While we delivered an extra $350 million for veterans and their families in this year’s budget, it’s important to acknowledge where we can do better.
“Transition and mental health were identified as areas where the Government had implemented reform or was looking to change processes.
“The Government is focussed on improving the transition stage from serving in the military to civilian life, which has been identified as a critical period for ADF personnel.
“The Government is working hard on making sure that just as Defence personnel prepare for deployment, they prepare for civilian life.
“The Government has also made the first serious investment in DVA in years by providing $166.6 million towards upgrading DVA’s IT and processes to make it a 21st Century Department with a 21st Century service culture.”
Mr Joyce recently attended a Vietnam Veterans Day in Tamworth, where he honoured the service of local Vietnam veterans at a special service.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan also called for the veteran community to provide a response to the Ministerial Statement through a new national body.