BERT’S BLOG – Support for Our Veterans and their Families

OPEN LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, MINISTER VETERANS’ AFFAIRS  AND OPPOSITION SHADOW FOR VETERANS AFFAIRS

Recently, the Government put out a Joint Media Release about Support for Our Veterans and their Families.

Its final paragraphs, describing ‘an extensive record support for veterans’, are decidedly underwhelming. For example, delivering support for 280,000 veterans is nothing more than what is required under existing legislation; and improved processes and claim procedures in DVA are self evidently needed. Any Government that did not do these things would be derelict in its duty.

The statement it made that the Coalition is “delivering [its] $1.4 billion in fairer indexation for military superannuants”, if not deliberately misleading, certainly avoids telling the entire truth about what is happening with military superannuation. Assertions like these conceal the real situation, and it is disingenuous to make it appear to be otherwise.

The Release made no mention of any intention to deliver:

• a plan to restore a proper level of TPI/SR economic loss compensation payments. [It is reprehensible that this particular issue was not dealt with long ago.];

• fair indexation for MSBS superannuants also, [the now infamous ‘Ronaldson second step’ never taken!!];

• fair indexation for under 55 year old DFRDB superannuants, let alone anyone on MSBS;

• proper indexation for preserved funds in Commonwealth hands; or

• restitution for any substandard super indexation, dating at least back to 1990 for MSBS and 1990 – 2014 for DFRDB.

All of these long standing issues have a direct, incontrovertible and deleterious effect on veterans’ cost of living. They all deserve a very high priority, well before any consideration of expenditure on memorials is placed on the agenda.

And yet, neither the Coalition, nor Labor, make any undertaking in their election promises to settle these matter once and for all.

Is this really the ‘Fair Go’ that our veterans, like all Australians, deserve?

Does it really reflect how we ‘honour the service and sacrifice of our service personnel’?

BertHoebee 1

Bert Hoebee
Military Veteran (9 RAR Vietnam)

Comments

  1. Jim Anderson says

    Onya Bert

  2. Well said Bert, very succinctly put…If I genuinely believed any of the potato heads in Canberra having read your comments would do ANYTHING about them I’d eat my hat.
    We’ve been ignored by successive governments for the past 40 years, pardon my negativity but…

  3. Crackles says

    So if not the Coalition, who do you suggest we vote for: Bill Shitten, the loony Greens? No use bitching and giving no way ahead mate. Crackles 8/9RAR

  4. Scotty Burnett says

    Usual Government ignorance of us Vets. Again we will be ignored. But care for the refugee, no worries.

  5. Brian Maley says

    Hubert,as a boyhood friend & I always had an interest in your transition to the ARA from 10RSAR,I now find myself &soldiers & airmen of RCB Malaysia 1970-1989 at loggerheads with Govt,all parties,who refuse our Recognition & Entitlements to service,as they have since 1970-present time,seeking your support in this denial,lying,deceitful treatment of us,our families,& families left of our passed soldiers& airmen.If you are able to add weight to our fight please feel free to contact myself or RCB Malaysia group…….Brian

  6. Bert Hoebee says

    Best we have a yarn Brian! RAR Assoc can give you my contact details.

    I have been in touch with Rus Linwoood on this. I think he has it all under control. But for a posting to UK instead, I would have been one of the RCB group. You will win the battle!

    Bert

  7. Bert Hoebee says

    Crackles. No problem there. The only answer I have found is to keep pressing the politicians- ideally looking them in the eyes when doing so. If we all do that – regularly, as I do – they will certainly get the message. I am particularly incensed about the TPI/SR situation, and only yesterday was with the a member of the TPI Federation when at an ACT Election Forum when that issue was raised, in addition to which I raised publicly the super indexation one. The validity of the argument was acknowledged by the Labor MP. As usual, the bleat was that there is no money to ‘Do the Right Thing’! Afterwards I told him where to find it. Today I fronted an ACT Senator at a community campaign stand on the same issue and took him to task over not answering my mail to him about these issues.
    Will you also do those sort of things please mate? In some electorates the margin is very slim, and we might just be able to convince those so desperate to remain in or gain power, to make us the promises we want. It worked for DFRDB in 2014 – not quite as well as hoped, but it DID work. Sadly. politicians react to numbers, and we have them, but we all must let our voices be heard – frequently and consistently. Duty First

  8. Bert Hoebee says

    Thank you Jim and Ian! I choose to keep trying as a matter of Duty First on behalf of those worse off than me, and those still serving to come after us. I still recall one politician who said to me that unless we keep at them, they will not listen at all. It does get a bit tiresome though, to repeat the same simple and obvious stories to them, time and time again.
    Hello Moderator: Would you consider putting a Disqus link on your web site? https://publishers.disqus.com/engage?utm_source=independentaus&utm_medium=Disqus-Footer

  9. What bullshit Hansards 28/11/2018 Ruston stated in answering RCB battle for recognition & entitlemens to service….”LNP/NP give $11bill a year for vets& families….$275mill a year to make DVA more workable for vets”..hello that’s approx $66 bill over time in power……where has this money been spent.We are vets,we have families please someone verify this money……Brian

    • Trevor Dixon says

      Brian, that amount is correct. The full DVA budget is available on this link https://www.dva.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/about%20dva/budgets/2018-19/2018pbs.pdf it breaks down the $11Bn into entitlements and administration costs. As payments are overwhelming veteran entitlements the amounts acquitted are pretty much independent of which political party is in Government and uniquely, these funds are quarantined on a bi-partisan basis from efficiency considerations under the productivity commission so that they cannot be cut.

  10. Trevor please mate,I know what was said,the question I haven’t had answered by any one is……We of RCB Malaysia 1970-1989 are veterans,we have families,we support our mates who have left their families without recognition or entitlements to their valuable service during the “in between wars against CTs”because of their death,suicide&pre mature illnesses of service……what monies of this huge amount are allocated to these men,families by LNP/NP,so we may have quality of life,and recognition of our service for our children,grandchildren,& families……Brian

    • Trevor Dixon says

      Thanks Brian,

      RARA National supports the RCB review group who are advocating for recognition of service in Butterworth. If you are not already following them, you can see more information on their site https://recognitionofrcbservice.com/ and on RARA National at https://rarnational.org.au/category/rifle-company-butterworth/ . In short, both sides of politics have refused to accept the evidence presented to change entitlements for RCB veterans when they have been in Government ie the current LNP Coalition over the last six years nor the Labor party during the Rudd and Gillard period. The review group is now seeking an independent inquiry to present their evidence for an impartial determination.

      Duty First,
      Trevor

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