ADSO Media Statement - WILL VETERANS BE THE FORGOTTEN FORCE IN ELECTION 2016?

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Three weeks out from the election and still no substantive policy announcements from those seeking election to federal parliament. It is not as if the serving and ex-serving community leaders have been silent. They have strongly urged the adoption of positive policies to redress the failures of the past and improve the lot of serving and former ADF members.

We advocate;
1. A review of DVA Culture and Processes and veteran rehabilitation and compensation legislation.
2. Increased Veterans’ Disability Payments to restore a loss of value and provide our most disabled veterans with an income level enabling them to live with dignity and provide for their families.
3. Fix the discriminatory provisions of the military superannuation schemes and fulfill the undertakings given to service personnel when they joined the ADF.
4. Enact a Military Accord formally stating the Nations obligations to its service personnel and their families.

We believe the present unsatisfactory situation faced by many veterans of recent conflicts trying to gain support from DVA using the adversarial processes imposed by government legislation causes unnecessary significant harm. One positive way to help would be to grant lifelong health support to any veteran who has had war or warlike service which would remove the angst and uncertainty presently faced by our veterans.

In the paraphrased words of the PM - "We ask our soldiers, sailors and airmen and airwomen to shoulder a heavy burden for this country and the best way to honour them is to support and care for the heroes and veterans of today, and their families". (6th June 2016)

And from the Leader of the Opposition – “..as a nation we have been better at honouring the memory of our dead, than offering decent support for the living. None of us have the right to tell people who were prepared to pay the ultimate price, that we cannot afford to care for them. We must do better and we must do more.” (6th June 2016)

So come on Government, Opposition, the other Parties and the Independents bring out your policies so we can all see how you intend (or not) to support those you so readily send to war.

Contacts
ADSO Campaign Co Directors: Ted Chitham (0418) 733 887 Alf Jaugietis (0438) 282 284
ADSO National Spokesman: David Jamison (0416) 107 557

LEADERS MUST FOLLOW THROUGH ON VETERANS SUPPORT

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Ray Martin, a former CO 1 RAR, and the Alliance of Defence Service Organisation's (ADSO) Townsville representative has had his letter to the Editor published in today's (8th June 2016) Townsville Bulletin.

Ray Martin

Read the PM's and the Leader of the Opposition's speeches 

David Jamison, ADSO's National Spokesperson expects both the PM and the Leader of the Opposition to match their words with deeds in the release of their Veterans' Policies. 

See ADSO's policy objectives here

 

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Alan Jones Interviews DVA Minister Dan Tehan on 2 June 2016

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Dan Tehan

Alan Jones talks to Federal Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan about ceremonies taking place today (2 June) for the repatriation of Australians from the Terendak Military Cemetery in Malaysia. From about 8mins 54 secs into the interview until the 12.00 minute Alan questions the Minister without notice on the treatment of TPI’s and asks the Minister to be prepared at a later interview to respond to the historical neglect of Governments to fair and equitable treatment

Alan Jones – Dan Tehan | 2GB audio

 

ADSO MEDIA STATEMENT - WARRIORS FEEL BETRAYED - BRITISH DEFENCE SELECT COMMITTEE REPORT ON MEFLOQUINE

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A British Defence Select Committee has released its report into the use of the dangerous antimalarial drug Lariam (also Mefloquine) in the British Armed Forces.

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This drug is still used by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) today. A copy of the UK report can be accessed here.

ADSO welcomes the findings and recommendations of the UK Committee which include:
1.An acknowledgement of the apology to British military personnel by the Minister for Defence;
2.Larium (mefloquine) to become the antimalarial of ‘last resort’ (effectively suspending it);
3.A recognition of the severe side effects and ongoing harm caused to many personnel;
4.Recognition that the Ministry of Defence has failed in the ‘duty of care’ to military personnel; and
5.A single point of contact be created for those affected and information be disseminated to military and civilian doctors about health issues related to Lariam.

A former British Chief of Armed Forces had called for the suspension of Mefloquine use. The British recommendations, by applying very strict conditions for its use as a drug of last resort, effectively achieves that aim. Mefloquine should therefore also be effectively suspended in Australia.

Impacts for Australia and ADSO recommendations to Defence
• The British findings and recommendations need to be closely examined by Defence. Mefloquine should also be made a drug of ‘last resort’ in the ADF;
• The British military does not administer a loading dose for prophylaxis, a practice which is outside the manufacturer’s recommendations. A loading dose provides an initial higher dose of the drug. This dangerous practice in the ADF must be halted immediately;
• Hundreds of ADF personnel, most now veterans, have been badly affected by exposure to Lariam (Mefloquine) or other quinloline antimalarials when taking part in poorly administered clinical trials;
• The ADF and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) response to this serious health issue has been inadequate;
• Urgent action is required to provide proper medical treatment and assistance to those affected by exposure to mefloquine and other antimalarial drugs;
• This should begin with an extensive outreach program to identify and assess all personnel who took these drugs. A single point of contact should be provided to those affected, from which a proactive health information system and medical review process can been administered;
• Australia, like the UK, needs to conduct a full and open parliamentary inquiry into mefloquine and the circumstances surrounding the use of large scale drug trails while troops were deployed on operations which have led to significant harm to hundreds of ADF personnel.

The Townsville Mefloquine Forum in March 2016 raised most of these issues. To date no effective meaningful action has been taken by the ADF or DVA to assist those affected who feel betrayed.

Contacts: 
Media Spokesperson on this Issue: Ray Martin 0411681008

ADSO Campaign Co-Directors: Ted Chitham 0418733887 and Alf Jaugietis 0438282284
ADSO National Spokesperson: David Jamison 0416107557

ADSO comprises of the following: The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), Naval Association of Australia (NAA), RAAF Association (RAAFA), The Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC), Australian Special Air Service Association (ASASA), The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA), The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Service Men and Women, The Fleet Air Arm Association of Australia, The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia, The Royal Australian Armoured Corps Corporation (RAACC), The National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association Australia (NMBVAA), The Defence Reserves Association (DRA), The Australian Gulf War Veterans Association, The Australian Commando Association, The War Widows Guild, The Military Police Association Australia (MPAA), and The Australian Army Apprentices Association.

 

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