Tehan Media Release - Addressing the RSL National Conference

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Dan Tehan

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today told the RSL National Conference in Canberra that improvements to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs would make it, “a 21st century Department with a 21st century service culture”.

Mr Tehan told the conference that the Government was committed to continuing to work with the RSL, as it sought to change.

“In the case of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, our aim is to have a 21st century Department with a 21st century service culture,” Mr Tehan said.

“In this year’s budget the Government made the first serious investment into the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in years, with $166.6 million to upgrade its computer systems and processes.

“Claims and wait times will be cut by this investment, making DVA a 21st century Department with a 21st century service culture.

“This change at DVA will put the veteran at the centre of how the organisation operates.”

Mr Tehan also attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian War Memorial on Wednesday to honour the service and sacrifice of Australia’s veterans.

21 September 2017

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.

Tehan release - Launching $6 million research centre to support veterans with PTSD

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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said a new Government-funded research centre into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would improve the lives of veterans and their families.

Dan Tehan

Mr Tehan today launched the $6 million Centenary of Anzac Centre at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne to be operated by Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health.

Mr Tehan said the new centre delivered a 2016 election commitment and represented one of the most significant investments into the research of military-related PTSD in Australia.

“More than 30,000 Australian veterans have an accepted service-related disability for PTSD,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs spend more than $244 million a year providing mental health support and treatment to current and former ADF members. In last year’s budget, the Government made the treatment of PTSD free for anyone who has served one day in the full-time ADF and this has led to encouraging results.
“More veterans are seeking help for their PTSD – and getting that help. The Government’s investment in the Centenary of Anzac Centre will lead to improved treatment of mental health conditions, including PTSD.

“The Anzac Centre will undertake pioneering research and provide expert advice to practitioners nationwide who are supporting veterans with PTSD.”

Director of Phoenix Australia Professor David Forbes said: “The Centenary of Anzac Centre provides a unique opportunity to establish a strong national collaboration of researchers, clinicians, ex-service organisations and all agencies caring for veterans, to work together to find new solutions and improve care.”

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17 September 2017


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.

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PTS 17 FORUM - RADIO INTERVIEWS OF NOTED PERSONS

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Steve Austin broadcast his ABC Radio 612 4QR Brisbane breakfast show from, the PTS Forum in Brisbane on 8th September 2017.  You can listen to the broadcast here
Steve is a respected and noted questioning and searching interviewer of his guests as you will hear. He has obviously researched the subject and asks searching questions that expose the facts of PTS on everyone.

He interviewed the following persons:
1. Kerri-Ann Welch (start at 22.15 minutes)

2. The White Cloud Foundation ( from 23.12 minute)

3. Dan Tehan (DVA Minister) (from 36.55 minute)

4. Tony Dell ( Principal Stand Tall) (from 53.55 minute)

5. Combat Stress (from 1 hour.01.26 minute)

6. Cameron & Melissa Smith. RAAF Veteran PTS husband and his wife relate their family experiences (from 1.07.00 minute)

7. Richard McLaren – RAAF Vietnam and after service a photographer of display Before/During/After Service (from 1.36.26 minute)

8. Stuart McCarthy & Prof Jane Quinn on neuro-toxic medications Mefloquine (from 1.45.10 minute and ends at 2.02.00)

9. AVM Tracy Smart Commander Joint Health and Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force. (from 2.03.55) on resilience and questioned on Mefloquine,

10. Dr Justine Evans (Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation) and Dane Christison (Principal of Thrive to Survive Nation) (from 2. 14.15 to the end of the broadcast. This is a must listen to.interview that reveals Dane's (a younger PTS veteran) self funded contribution to helping others.

70th anniversary of Australian peacekeeping: Thursday, 14 September 2017

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Monday, 11 September 2017

A national commemorative service to mark the 70th Anniversary of Australian peacekeeping will be held at 10:00am on Thursday, 14 September 2017 at the new Australian Peacekeeping memorial on Anzac Parade in Canberra. A dedication ceremony for the new memorial will be included in the commemorative service.

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The public event will be attended by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan, former and current peacekeepers, and their families.
Live stream coverage of the service will be available on the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Australian War Memorial websites.
Interview and photo opportunities can be arranged with peacekeepers who are attending the national service, if requests are submitted to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs by 5pm Tuesday, 12 September 2017.

Program:
The Australian peacekeeping week program includes:
11 – 16 September – Australian War Memorial Peacekeeping Photographic display
11 September – Australian Peacemaker and Peacekeeper Veterans Association National Conference
12 September – Australian Peacemaker and Peacekeeper Veterans Association National AGM
13 September – Australian War Memorial Peacekeeping Remembrance Service (7.30am)
14 September – Dedication of the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial and Commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Australian Peacekeeping (10.00am)
14 September – Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project - National Peacekeeping Reception (noon)
14 September – Australian War Memorial Last Post Ceremony dedicated to a Peacekeeper (5.00pm)
16 September – Police ‘Wall to Wall - Ride for Remembrance’
15 – 16 September – United Nations Association of Australia National Conference

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Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Dan Tehan - World Suicide Prevention Day

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10 September 2017

Dan Tehan
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today used World Suicide Prevention Day to outline the mental health support available to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their families.

“Suicide affects all areas of our community – eight Australians a day take their own lives and it remains the greatest cause of death for men between the ages of 14 and 44,” Mr Tehan said.

“As we have seen, veterans and members of the ADF are sadly not immune. We are determined to address suicide in our community and everyone has a role to play.

“The Government has made the treatment of all mental health conditions free for anyone who has served at least one day in the full-time ADF. I encourage all veterans to contact DVA by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers.

“Current and former ADF members and their family members can access free and confidential counselling and support immediately through the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 1800 011 046 or by visiting the VVCS website.

“DVA also provides suicide awareness training through Operation Life. The Operation Life website helps people understand the warning signs of suicide and provides information and resources to help keep the reader and others safe from suicide,” Mr.Tehan said.

Information about Operation Life suicide awareness workshops is available on the VVCS website or by calling 1800 011 046.

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.

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Please see the following files attached:
[Tehan Media Release - World Suicide Prevention Day FINAL.pdf]
Distributed by AAP Medianet

JN#:885412

DVA Minister - Addressing the National Servicemen’s Association

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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today thanked the Nashos for their service as he addressed the National Servicemen’s Association National Council Meeting in Canberra.

Dan Tehan
“Australia has seen four periods of compulsory military service and the most recent schemes, in 1951–59 and 1964–72, saw tens of thousands of National Servicemen, or ‘Nashos’, serve our nation,” Mr Tehan said.
“Australia honours the service and sacrifice of those who took part in the schemes, and we remember the more than 200 men who laid down their lives for our nation.
“Nashos are an important part of our military history and Australia owes a great debt to the Australians who underwent training and served our nation.”

Mr Tehan also told the meeting the time had come for Australia’s numerous veterans’ organisations to speak with one voice through a peak national organisation.
“In other countries, veterans’ organisations have united together into a national confederation or association with the varied and differing needs of each group within the community putting forward their needs through a single body,” he said.

Mr Tehan outlined recent Government initiatives to provide more support and services to veterans and their families.
“This year’s Budget made treatment for all mental health conditions free to anyone who has served at least one day in the full-time Australian Defence Force,” Mr Tehan said.
The Government also provided $8.5 million so partners and children of our contemporary veterans, who have had at least one day of full-time service, can access the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service.
“The Government has also provided a $166.6 million investment for the first stage of reforming DVA’s processes and IT infrastructure to improve how veterans experience making a claim.”

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

Government launches Veterans' Employment Awards

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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
THE HON. MALCOLM TURNBULL MP PRIME MINISTER,
SENATOR THE HON. MICHAELIA CASH MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT,
THE HON. DAN TEHAN MP MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS.
6 September 2017

The Australian Government continues to honour its promise to ensure that all Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are ready for the opportunities of post-service life.

Helping our former Defence personnel find meaningful post-service careers is one of the best ways we can honour their service and sacrifice.

Today we launch the inaugural Veterans’ Employment Awards, which will celebrate Australian businesses that are employing veterans as well as veterans who are making a significant contribution to their workplace.

Any Australian business, large or small, that is a leader in veterans employment should nominate for the awards.

The awards, which contain nine categories, are part of the Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Program, that was launched last year to help recognise the talents of our veterans and to encourage the private sector to take advantage of that expertise.

An Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) on Veterans’ Employment was formed earlier this year to increase employment opportunities for veterans in the private sector. They have been instrumental in developing the Veterans’ Employment Awards.

IAC chair and Chief Executive Officer of Westpac’s Consumer Bank George Frazis today updated the Government on the committee’s progress developing strategies to improve the pathways for veterans from the Australian Defence Force into post-service employment.

Each year, around 5,200 people will leave the ADF and the Government’s aim is to ensure our personnel can transition to civilian life effectively and smoothly.

Significant work has already been undertaken to improve veteran employment in the Australian Public Service (APS) with the development of a practical toolkit to support veterans to enter the APS that includes a guide aligning ADF ranks to APS classifications.

Since the Government added a "Defence Force Experience Desirable" flag on its jobactive website in September 2016 more than 1500 positions have been advertised as Defence desirable, connecting job seekers with employers.

Mr Frazis said: "As a former RAAF Officer, I am proud to share the progress of the Committee with the Prime Minister and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs today.
"The Committee has made positive progress in achieving its aspiration to help veterans and their families gain meaningful employment during and after their service. It has established the foundation for its ongoing efforts to overcome barriers to employment for our veterans, those serving in the Reserves and their spouses.

"The Committee has found that businesses are very keen to employ veterans, and some already have specific programs in place to assist veterans. The challenge is ensuring that businesses interested in employing veterans are able to attract veterans and have programs in place that support veteran employees as they adjust to civilian workplaces.
"We encourage all organisations to recognise and take advantage of the talents and skills of our veterans, such as leadership, resilience, agility and the ability to operate in complex environments."

Nominations for the Veterans’ Employment Awards are open until 22 December 2017 and can be submitted at www.veteransemployment.gov.au

 

“SHETHRIVES” Program – Expressions of Interest

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Partners of Veterans Association (PVA) is looking for expressions of interest to gauge the interest, need and potential benefits of the “Shethrives” program to participants in order to support establishment of this program in an enduring and sustainable manner, ensuring as many partners have best practice support to return to and thrive in their homes, community and workplaces.

Further information can be found here

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Anzac Portal brings Australia's war history to life

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Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Mr Dan Tehan today encouraged Australians to visit The Anzac Portal website after a recent renovation. The Anzac Portal website at aims to promote awareness of Australia’s wartime history.

Dan TehanMr Tehan said the portal now contained information and educational resources spanning campaigns from the First World War to contemporary military and peacekeeping operations.
To coincide with Vietnam Veterans’ Day on Friday, 30 interviews with Vietnam veterans and family members will be published on the Anzac Portal.

The Anzac Portal is part of the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served in defence of our nation,” Mr Tehan said.
“The website is a free, dedicated resource that all Australians can use to gain a better understanding of our wartime history through an extensive range of educational resources.
“The portal has been developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for teachers and students, and is aligned with the Australian Curriculum.
“It is constantly being updated with personal interviews with veterans complemented by images from the Australia War Memorial’s collection and personal collections.”

Eight Departmental commemorative websites have been consolidated into the single Anzac Portal to provide a single, central location for information on Australian war history.

The Anzac Portal also contains resources for anyone planning events during the Anzac Centenary, including posters and wartime snapshots, veterans’ stories and publications relevant to various commemorations, music downloads and sample commemorative speeches. The portal is compatible with multiple devices and browsers.

17 August 2017

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

SENATE HANSARD - TRIBUTE TO DAVID JAMISON

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Senator McGrath (LNP QLD), in the Senate on Wednesday 16th August, paid tribute to Colonel David Jamison's contribution to the Parliament supporting militarry veterans matters.with this speech.

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"On Monday, their (DFWA) longstanding national president, Colonel David Jamison AM, announced his retirement. I met with David and his colleagues numerous times on a range of issues that impacted the Defence and veterans' community—from an Australian defence covenant, to recognition of awards for service and helping with veterans' super and veterans' support. David and his colleagues have met many people in this building and you would have seen him as a regular in corridors blue, green or red. I have always found David to be a genuine servant for the interests of Defence personnel and veterans. He has worked towards practical outcomes to improve life for them and their families. So tonight I want to pay tribute to David for his service and thank him, however briefly, for all his work and all the counsel that he's provided on behalf of the veterans' community,

David was elected as a National President of the Defence Force Welfare Association in May 2007. An ex-Army ordnance officer, he served in the Australian Defence Force for 23 years in varying command positions, including command of the Army's Field Supply Battalion in the Operational Deployment Force in South Vietnam. He's been a member of the Returned and Services League since 1967 and President of the successful Ringwood RSL sub-branch since 2014. David also served as a member of the Department of Veterans' Affairs ex-service round table (ESORT) consultative forum. David's successes as National President are many. During his distinguished and successful 10-year tenure, the Defence Force Welfare Association has grown in its effectiveness as a representative advocacy body for better service conditions and support for all members of the Australian Defence Force, and their families, both during and after their periods of service. Moreover, the association has been at the
forefront of promoting unity within the wider ex-service community. That unity has translated into a firmer, more cohesive and louder veterans' voice being heard within government and the media nationwide. David's drive and vision was instrumental to the formation in 2010 of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO), which now includes 17 associations. More recently, David has worked towards the establishment of an even wider group of Defence community focused bodies, including the Returned and Services League and Legacy. Each member of this group has agreed to collaborate in an environment of respect and trust to better promote and protect the wellbeing of members of the Australian Defence and Veterans Community.

Arguably one of his greatest passions has been his work as a driving force to have the unique nature of military service recognised widely. I have spoken in this place before about my belief in properly recognising the service, and I can attest to the efforts and support that David has given to this cause. Indeed, in his very first ministerial statement on veterans and their families, Minister Dan Tehan stated with clarity: 'It is important that all Australians understand the unique nature of service.' David's considered advocacy has played an important role in bringing this concept to the forefront of our national consciousness, along with many others in the community who cannot all be named here tonight. Proper recognition of that concept can be of benefit to the serving and ex-service communities for many years to come. All governments can do better, but I'm proud that this coalition government is standing with our Defence and veterans' community and is committed to doing better where needed.

To David and your family: thank you, and all the best for your future endeavours. To David's successor, Kel Ryan; to the executive director, Alf Jaugietis, who is here in the gallery this evening; and to the rest of the team at the Defence Force Welfare Association: I commend you and wish you all the best".

Veterans deserve to benefit

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THE TOWNSVILLE BULLETIN TACKLING BUREACRATIC INTRANSIGENCE - Bulletin Editor Ben English has championed veterans issues since assuming the role.
This compassionate, insightful and powerful editorial deserves to be shared.

"WHEN Australia’s repatriation department was established after World War I, a fundamental principle in determining any benefits claim was when in doubt, the veteran should be given the benefit of that doubt.
In Townsville there is little doubt the anti-malarial drugs mefloquine, tafenoquine and primaquine can have long-term adverse health consequences for some individuals who have taken them.
That is why the Repatriation Medical Authority’s decision to categorically rule out a link between anti-malarial drugs and brain injury in ADF members appears to be, at best, a premature one. At worst, it is a decision that may well come back to haunt the RMA in the same manner as the Agent Orange scandal in the decades following Vietnam. Both mefloquine and tafenoquine were trialled on Townsville-based personnel deployed to East Timor and Bougainville at the turn of the century..."

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First camp for children of veterans affected by mental illness

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DVA Minister Tehan's media release - 26 August 2017

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The first Kookaburra Kids Foundation camp for children of current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) families affected by mental illness will take place this weekend.
The camp will give the children the opportunity to have fun in a supportive environment while also learning about mental illness and developing coping and resilience skills.
More than 30 children from the ACT region will participate in the camp which includes a range of activities led by qualified volunteer leaders.
The Government announced funding of $2.1 million in March for the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation to run a two-year pilot program to help children of veterans.
The Government recognises the burden of service extends beyond veterans to their families. That is why we are committed to supporting programs such like the Kookaburra Kids Foundation camps.
Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation CEO Pam Brown said through activities and group work, the camp program allowed children to gain a greater understanding of mental illness and to form new friendships with other children who are facing similar challenges.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to launch the Kookaburra Kids Program nationally, enabling us to support more of the ADF community,” Ms Brown said.
Anyone looking to get involved with Kookaburra Kids, or to refer a child, please visit https://kookaburrakids.org.au/.

Media enquiries:
Minister Tehan’s office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 45 46). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.

MEDIA RELEASE THE HON DAN TEHAN MP - Ministerial statement on veterans and their families

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The first annual Ministerial Statement on Veterans and Their Families.was tabled in the House of Representatives today 14th August 2017

Dan Tehan

"As the Prime Minister has said, in these centenary years of Anzac, we best honour the Diggers of the First World War by supporting the servicemen and women, the veterans and the families of today.

It is important that all Australians understand the unique nature of service. It is important that all Australians understand what support they currently provide to our veterans. It is important that all Australians understand where our support needs to be targeted into the future.

For the men and women who serve or have served our nation; for their husbands, wives, and children; for their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers – this Ministerial Statement is for you..."

READ THE FULL STATEMENT

CONTACT MAGAZINE # 47

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View the latest magazine here...

Stay current with the latest military news. Content includes articles on:

Australian MNews
Military Technology
Operations
Overseas
Veterans Matters

 

 

DFWA’s LEADERSHIP BATON TO CHANGE HANDS

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The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) announces with sad regret that, after more than 10 years of distinguished and success-laden service as its National President, Colonel David Jamison AM (Retd) has elected to step down from his leadership position with effect Monday 14 August 2017. David can be rightfully proud of his tenure.

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Under his watch the Association has not only grown in its effectiveness as a body fully capable of fostering the best interests and welfare of all members of the ADFand their families both during and/or after their period of service but has also been at the forefront of promoting unity within the wider ex-service community. That unity has translated into a firmer, more cohesive and louder veterans’ voice being heard within the corridors of legislative power.

In that regard, David’s drive and vision was instrumental to the formation in 2010 of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations, now numbering 17 Associations. And more recently, instrumental as well to the formation of an even wider collective of Defence community-focussed bodies, including the RSL and Legacy among others, each of whom have agreed to collaborate in an environment of respect and trust to better promote and protect the well-being of members of the Australian Defence Community.

That Community will undoubtedly use David’s legacy of achievement as a building block to truly work together with a unity of purpose going forward.

Stepping immediately into David’s so-to-speak shoes will be the Association’s Deputy President, Kel Ryan.

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He is credited post his Army career also with long years of service to the ex service community. That has included being RSL Queensland’s State Deputy President, President 5 RAR Association, President of the Royal Australian Regiment Queensland Branch, and Vice President DFWA. More about Kel another time! Please extend a welcome to Kel going forward.

Opinion - DVA rumours just ‘fake news’

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 Opinion - Ross Eastgate, Townsville Bulletin 10th August 2017

TWO years ago the ambitious but hapless Stuart Robert was given a dual responsibility as minister for both Veterans’ Affairs and Human Services.
Veterans were rightly concerned Canberra bureaucrats had finally achieved their longheld ambition to subsume veterans entitlements into the wider health and welfare pool.
If that was indeed the plan, Robert’s personal ineptitude scuppered his ministerial career and the two ministries were again separated.
As reported in the Bulletin this week, social media last weekend exploded with rumours DVA would be disbanded and its dependencies shifted to the Department of Human Services.
On Monday Veterans’ Affairs minister Dan Tehan issued a press release insisting the Government was committed to a stand-alone Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
“There are no plans to merge DVA with the Department of Human Services,” Mr Tehan said.
“There is no meeting planned for this week and there is no agreement to be signed in the near future to subsume DVA into DHS.”
It is not strictly true for the minister to claim that the DVA is a stand-alone agency. It has for some time increasingly sourced services from other agencies and contracted providers.

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