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Commission Urges Better Support For Veterans

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Light Electorate / Building Communities / Shadow Ministry

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  • By Tony Piccolo
  • Dec 17, 2018
Commission Urges Better Support For Veterans

Local MP Tony Piccolo discussing the APC Draft report with Gawler RSL Welfare and Pensions Officer and Club President, Mr Paul Little.

 

Local Member of Parliament, and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affair, Tony Piccolo is encouraging South Australian Veterans and their families to make submissions following the release of a Australian Productivity Commission (APC) draft report late last week.

The APC has recommended major changes to the way veterans and their families are supported by the Australian Government.

The APC found that the “veterans’ compensation and rehabilitation system is not fit-for-purpose and it requires fundamental reform.

It asserts that the system “is out-of-date and is not working in the interests of veterans and their families or the Australian community.”

The APC goes on to say that the “system fails to focus on the lifetime wellbeing of veterans.”

The current veteran support system is described by the APC as legislatively and administratively complex, difficult to navigate and inequitable.

Mr Tony Piccolo said of greater concern was the finding by the APC that the Veterans’ support system is poorly administered and places unwarranted stress on veterans who make claims to the various schemes.

Mr Piccolo said the findings by the APC did not surprise him as it mirrors the feedback he has received from veterans across the state and who he meets with regularly.

“From Mt Gambier to Wudinna to Pt Augusta to the Riverland, I have heard from veterans about the difficulties they experience in access services and having their claimed recognised by the Department of Veterans Affairs, “said Mr Piccolo.

“Veterans in regional areas of the state have told me that the decision makers are so remote from them that they fail to understand the difficulties they experience in obtaining the support they need.

“While ex service organisations [like the RSL] provide a great deal of support to veterans they are run by volunteers which are stretched to the limit.

Mr Piccolo said he would consult with the various ex services organisations to assess what is the best response to the Commission’s recommendations.

“We need to ensure that veterans who have put their lives on the line for our nation are provided with the right support when they need it.

“I will discuss the report with my Federal counterpart Amanda Rishworth MP as most of the schemes are federally funded.

Written submissions on the draft report can be made to the Productivity Commission, by Monday 11 February 2019 and a public hearing will be held in South Australia on Monday 4th February at the 2019 Hotel Grand Chancellor, 65 Hindley Street, Adelaide.

 

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