With just days remaining until submissions close on the review into Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans by the Productivity Commission, Federal Member for Oxley Milton Dick MP has been meeting with local RSL groups to hear their concerns first hand.
The Productivity Commission released its draft report late last year on the 14th December with veterans groups raising concerns over a number of items.
Most notably that it appears from the Productivity Commission’s draft report that the duties and responsibilities of the Department of Veterans Affairs will be split up and the Department will cease to exist.
Mr Dick said this was of a great concern to local veterans.
“After speaking first hand with veterans, the strong feedback I’m getting is that this is a short sighted plan which will only create more problems” said Mr Dick.
“A significant change like this will have a huge impact on not only the 2,500 veterans in Oxley and 3,500 in Blair, but for all veterans and defence personnel across the country.
“We know DVA is not perfect, it needs reform, but it is critical to ensuring our veterans receive the care and support they deserve.
One of the key areas of concerns by veterans of the draft report by the Productivity Commission was the recommendation of a single Ministry for Defence Personnel and Veterans to be established.
“This could result in a serious conflict of interest created by moving policy into the Department of Defence, essentially making them a self-insurer, with no independent policy decisions” said Mr Dick.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs was established almost a century ago as a part of Australia’s commitment to its WW1 veterans.
“It’s of vital importance that we work side by side with our veterans to improve the DVA rather than simply dismantling it.
“I encourage local residents and veterans to have their say on the draft report by making a submission before the Monday 11 February deadline.”
The draft report and portal for submissions is available by visiting https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/veterans/draft