Sen. Jim Molan’s First Speech

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images 54It’s only fair to this house that I state what I hope to focus on as a senator for New South Wales. I will put the people of New South Wales and Australia first, to the best of my ability, in everything this house asks me to consider.

The following are some extracts:

Someone once said that, if opponents don’t speak against you, you probably are not standing up for enough. Anyone who’s googled me—and that seems to be most of the Western world and all the media in the last week or so—knows that various opponents regularly speak against me because I have publicly voiced my views on issues. I was targeted because I criticised the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government over its neglect of its national defence responsibilities. Some single-issue polemicists wanted to take me to the International Criminal Court years ago as a supposed war criminal because I fought in Iraq, and that has echoed more recently. Those who failed to stop the boats or said it could not be done attacked me, and of course they attacked many others, because we did it. I was publicly attacked by apologists at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas because I was a board director, with a military background, of the then brilliant St James Ethics Centre. And, most recently, I was abused as a murderer at a function held in Redfern. If opponents don’t speak against you, you are probably not standing up for enough.

Let me finish with reference to the most important determinant of what I am, the Australian military. If I had a military mentor over the years, it is retired Lieutenant General Des Mueller, who launched the book that I wrote back in 2008, and I thank him for 25 years of wise counsel. Des was and is a brilliant blend of Sparta and Athens. My boss in Iraq was US General George Casey, who commanded the war in Iraq for three long years while I ran it for him for only the first of those years.

Too many to name are the Australian soldiers of all ranks who’ve worked for me, with me or above me over 40 years, because I’ve learnt so much from them while pretending to know much more than I ever actually did. Many of them have contacted me in the past week to express their support for me when the place of men and women in uniform in our society was challenged.

Napoleon said: if you want to learn a nation’s interests, go to the graves of its soldiers. Many Australian dead have been brought back to Australia, but many still lie close to where they fell. Australia’s interests lie across the face of this earth. We are an international nation with worldwide interests. I’ve visited many battlefields and played cameo parts on some. What strikes me is the consistent performance of Australian soldiers, sailors and airmen over more than 100 years and around the world. Today’s soldiers are as good as, if not better than, any we have sent overseas, and much of that is due to our Australian culture and the leadership, training and equipment that accompany them. To me, they represent everything that is good about Australia because they are Australian. I dedicate my efforts in this house to them. Thank you.



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download 9 VETERANS and their families are set to benefit  with Minister for   Veterans’ Affairs Michael McCormack introducing the Veterans’ Affairs   Legislation Amendment (Veteran-Centric Reforms No. 1) Bill 2018     ( VCR Bill) to implement several new initiatives which will deliver better   services to veterans and their families.
“This Bill will create a new veteran payment to assist financially vulnerable veterans who have lodged a compensation claim for a mental health condition and are unable to work while their claim is being determined,” Mr McCormack said.
“The determination of Qualifying Service will also be automated, removing the requirement for a veteran to make an application for the determination. This is a key part of a broader improvement strategy to ease the transition process for veterans, putting veterans and their needs at the forefront.
“We will also invest an additional $7.1 million so we can deliver support services for veterans and their families through increased access to childcare, home care and counselling.”

Mr McCormack said partners of veterans may be eligible for the veteran payment and veterans with dependent children may be entitled to the maximum rates of Family Tax Benefit Part A without being subject to the Family Tax Benefit means test while they receive the veteran payment.
“Australian Defence Force members who served in Japan after the cessation of hostilities at the end of World War II and before the formation of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) will be entitled to receive a Gold Card,” Mr McCormack said.
“Veterans and their families are at the heart of communities around Australia — they have supported us and this Government is committed to ensuring they receive and have access to support services they need.
“Family plays an essential role in a veteran’s health and wellbeing and this Bill will ensure vital services such as income support and health care help veterans and their families transitioning into civilian life.”

Other measures in the Bill include a new pilot program to provide improved mental health support to veterans in remote and regional areas of Australia.

15 February 2018


Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

OPINION - New minister has job to do

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TOWNSVILLE should be a priority destination for recently appointed Veterans’ Affairs Minister Michael McCormack.

download 9McCormack represents the NSW seat Riverina for the National Party, with his electorate office in Wagga Wagga. Wagga is perhaps best known as the location of the army’s recruit training battalion at Kapooka, also known as Home of the Soldier.

Since McCormack is now also Minister for Defence Personnel he is ideally placed with local RAAF and army personnel to understand the issues faced by itinerant defence families.
He should bring to his dual portfolios some sympathy for the plight of those serving and those who have left the service for whatever reason.

While the affable Dan Tehan made the right noises, many veterans remain disappointed with his inaction on issues such as the ADF’s flawed mefloquine and tafenoquine antimalarial drug trials. This is a major issue for those affected.

Townsville has a significant concentration of veterans suffering the adverse consequences of mefloquine and tafenoquine poisoning yet DVA seemingly on ADF advice insists there is no problem.

To be fair to Tehan, any minister depends on the advice of specialists in the ministries they head.
The same applies to ministerial staff who often believe their prime function is to protect the reputation of their minister and the Government rather than offer frank and fearless advice on behalf of affected constituents.
When that advice is flawed or biased then a minister’s advice is equally biased and flawed.

McCormack could make an early mark by listening to people like Townsville-based veterans John Caligari and Ray Martin who continue to fight for the soldiers they once led, understanding command is a lifelong responsibility.

He should also talk with the wives and partners who struggle to understand why someone they love can return so damaged from operational service and who are then expected to pick up the pieces to keep their relationships and families intact.

McCormack could also make a mark by insisting faceless bureaucrats explain why awards should be granted to those who feel their service has gone unrecognised rather than accept their flawed advice as to why they should not.

Yes Minister



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Labor has written to Treasurer, Scott Morrison and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Michael McCormack backing calls by ex-service organisation to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) into the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into the misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

While the Turnbull Government made it clear they wanted superannuation to be examined by the Royal Commission they have neglected to include CSC- a significant player in the superannuation sector especially for our current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel.

Labor has listened to calls from the National Returned and Services League (RSL) and the Alliance of Defence Services Organisations (ADSO) who have also raised their concerns about the exclusion of the CSC from the Terms of Reference.

In neglecting to include CSC from the Terms of Reference our service men and women cannot be satisfied that CSC is working in their best interests.

If the Turnbull Government believes superannuation needs to be examined by the Royal Commission then they need to amend the Terms of Reference to include CSC.

Labor is committed to ensuring the Royal Commission delivers justice to all families and small businesses that have suffered because of the misconduct in the banking and financial services sector.

Amanda Rishworth 
Shadow minister for Veterans' Affairs 
13 February 2018



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ADSO endorses the DFWA's Media Statement.

The anger across the Australian Defence Community, and the public generally, at the Greens ‘coward’ slight aimed at now Senator Major General Jim Molan, AO, DSC (Retd) is palpable.

download 40 Mr Adam Bandt MP words are in themselves cowardly. By throwing aspersions at the character and actions of a long-standing military servant of the nation who has not only been renowned for his integrity but who has been at the absolute forefront of protecting Australian values, not to mention its borders, is a disgrace of the highest order.

The ex-service community as a whole of which the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) is a part, considers the Greens MP’s comments spineless in the extreme, made worse by the senior leadership of the Greens, led by Senator De Natalie, effectively supporting Mr Bandt’s denigrating words and attempts to justify them. 

Not only were the comments unbecoming of a member of the Federal Parliament, by inference they directly targeted the whole veteran community and those currently serving, many of whom are presently away from their families serving in harm’s way and with distinction across the globe. 

Such service appears to mean little to Greens members of Federal Parliament. By direct contrast, the vast majority of the Australian people strongly support the dedication of the men and women involved and acknowledge the exceptional service they give to their country.

DFWA seeks to represent the issues of the members of the veteran community and those presently serving. Such disgusting smears made by the Greens, individuals who have never served in harm’s way, nor sought to understand the challenges the men and women of the ADF face, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Generals down to the sailors, soldiers and the men and women of the air force regularly face life and death situations. This warrants more than a modicum of understanding, not craven attacks on them or their integrity in Parliament.

Members of the ADF serve at the direction of the legally elected Government. They do it with courage, backed by a tradition of honour in representing their nation in difficult circumstances. They do not deserve unwarranted attacks in Parliament by those who should know better.

While it must be acknowledged that Mr Bandt MP has now offered two apologies to Senator Molan, the first clearly inadequate and insincere, the Australian Defence Community must continue to have suspicions about the motives of the Green members of Parliament.

download 15
National President: Kel Ryan (0418) 759 120
Executive Director: Alf Jaugietis (0438) 282 284

DFWA – Voice of the Defence Community

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