DVA – Submissions Sought to Inquiry into Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans

SUBMISSIONS for the Productivity Commission inquiry into Compensation and Rehabilitation for Veterans are being encouraged by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester.

Mr Chester said this is an important opportunity for veterans, the ex-service community and the broader Australian public to contribute to this independent inquiry and have their say on how services and programs are delivered in the future.
“The inquiry is looking at not only the current system of compensation and rehabilitation for veterans but also how to ensure the system is fit for purpose in the future,” Mr Chester said.
“This is an integral part of the Government’s commitment to putting veterans and their families first by ensuring that the system that supports our veterans is the best it can be.
“I know this is an issue which many veterans, families and people within the broader ex-service community are passionate about, so I encourage them to read the issues paper and make a submission.”

The Productivity Commission has asked for initial written submissions to be lodged by 2 July 2018 with further opportunities for the public to provide feedback on the draft report following its anticipated release in December 2018. The Commission is due to report back to Government in mid-2019.

The Productivity Commission is the Government’s independent research and advisory body on a range of issues affecting the welfare of Australians.
To review the terms of reference, read the issues paper or lodge a submission, visit the Productivity Commission website.

Read the issues paper

Poem – Today’s Ned Kelly

Questionable leadership by all political parties

Determining and implementing a tax regime which aims to keeps our nation content and productive, is clearly not an easy task. Given it would be mission impossible for many of us; we rely on our elected leadership to execute such measures to ensure unity, security, prosperity as well as planning  future  needs which will enhance our nation’s reputation as the Lucky Country.

Some of this we see and too much we do not.

Many of us are weary of political point scoring, bickering, the lack of mutual understanding and co-operation.  Ironically it seems, the only times we experience political unity (apart from personal gains) is when we go to war (often unwisely) or during serious tantrums by Mother Nature.

Many of us are weary of the poor standards set by governments of any brand with too frequent accounts of wasteful expenditure, lack of bipartisan support for future projects, splintering national unity and violating the very base of leadership with poor examples (Do as I say, not as I do) such as:
– Serious cuts to welfare and yet continuing to accept frequent increases to already lucrative parliamentary salary and allowances. At the same time
–  wasteful and expensive expenditure, individually and collectively, while urging thrift from the nation at large.

Among many questionable organisations is a very expensive Discrimination Board which far from being productive, spews out political correctness from an unedited homemade bible.   Far from uniting, it fragments our people with a theme of “them and us”

Spending billions on a conventional submarine fleet which will be operational in 25 years plus, despite the incredible speed of advanced science and technology as evidenced by the fact that other countries already have drone surface and underwater vessels on the drawing board.

The list goes on and on.

If only we had the vision to pay more attention to the basic essentials of our society which are needed to ensure there is a tomorrow. One of which is the education of our most valuable national asset, our youth, including physical, mental and social disciplines to meet the demands of an increasing complex society.  They will not master such essential skills by texting.

Tax by all means, but can we have more sense and purpose to what we do with it?

 

Today’s Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly robbed Banks to give to the poor 

He was a hero to the people, no matter where he rode

Today his iron is worn by others who steal even more

Their pockets heavy with coin as they dine in rich abode 

Politicians give from one hand and take more with the other

Always on Budget Night, smoke and mirrors are at play

Thus, no matter what is said, they’ll still tax your poor old mother

By hook or by crook, young, old and in between in many a sly way 

The fingers of Government are in every pie and prods you, soon or late

GST, Licenses, Registration, Tolls and many tricks and ruses unseen

Big Buckets, barrows and trucks of gold pour through treasury gates 

Yet national debt grows; and always is a red light and never, never green  

Whenever struggling folk dig deep into mostly empty pockets 

The greedy tax man is grabbing precious family crumbs as his share

If you dare to claim a deduction with a docket

Watch out for the red tape which will soon become your nightmare

Another budget speech has been given to all 

Glib political chameleons have spoken and confusion reigns supreme 

Our people have doubts with tomorrow’s journey and its Ports of Call

Mind you; we’re still not too sure where we’ve already been

Once were promises of infrastructure and intent for even the North  

New roads, dams, hospitals and the world’s food basket for all to see

The order was given for all of us to get ready to go forth

Now cobwebs and moss gathers where the rolling stone was to be

  

Ned of course knew none of this future deceit and foul play 

He was honest enough to say “Give me your gold or there’s strife”

If he had owned a crystal ball, and known of the legalized robberies today 

His last words could well have been “I was born too early; such is life”

George Mansford © May 2018

Kilcoy Race Club – Kilcoy Cup 16 June 2018

Opinion – Tragic legacy of deaths in training

Battlefield deaths are sadly inevitable, perhaps acceptable, but usually explicable. They come with the turf. They always affect those who were there and have a profound, lingering effect on next of kin, family and friends.

Deaths during military training are an entirely different matter, particularly when described as “accidents”. There is no such thing as an accident. There is either an unsafe condition or an unsafe act or a combination of both.

Expanding Essential Services for Veterans and their Families

VETERANS and their families will have greater access to essential services with Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester introducing the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-Centric Reforms No. 2) Bill 2018 (VCR Bill) today.

“The measures introduced today will continue to ensure veterans and their families get the services and support they need,” Mr Chester said.
“As a government we are determined to put veterans and their families first.
“Mental health continues to be a big issue in communities throughout the country and we provide free mental health care to anyone who has served for one day in the Australian Defence Force. 

We will be establishing a new Veteran Suicide Prevention Pilot to deliver intensive and assertive management services to veterans following an attempted suicide or to those at significant risk of suicide.
“This pilot is about linking non-government and government support services to support vulnerable veterans’ and their families and will be offered at nine public and private hospitals in Brisbane.

“We want to encourage and support those studying with a view to getting them back into the workforce. This is why we will remove the reduction in the amount of incapacity payment which normally occurs after 45 weeks for those undertaking approved full-time study as part of their rehabilitation plan. This will mean veterans can focus on their study without having to worry about changes to their financial situation.”

The Bill will also enable the grandchildren of Vietnam veterans to be eligible to receive financial support to further their education through the Long Tan Bursary Scheme.
“We will continue to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who served our county in Vietnam by extending this support to their grandchildren,” Mr Chester said.
“Families who have suffered the tragic loss of a partner and who are wholly dependent partners of veterans will have two years to decide how to receive the compensation in periodic payments or as a lump sum, which is an increase from the current six months.
“The loss of a loved one is life changing and an incredible challenging time for any family, this change will remove the pressure to make an immediate decision so that they can make the best choice for their needs.
“This legislation re-affirms the Turnbull Government’s commitment to put veterans and their families at the centre of everything that we do.”

Other measures in the Bill will include allowing claims for compensation under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) to be made orally as well as in writing. This Bill will allow for some of the measures announced in the 2018-19 Budget to be implemented.

National Volunteers Week

From RARA National to all volunteers thank you for your commitment to caring for others in so many ways. To our own RAR Family of volunteers we greatly appreciate your support to our tribe.
Duty First

Volunteering Australia is delighted to announce its new theme and logo for National Volunteer Week (NVW) in 2018. The theme for 2018 is: Give a little. Change a lot.

 

This theme represents the millions of volunteers who make a significant impact in their communities and on society by giving a little of their time. National Volunteer week will be held from 21-27 May 2018.

 

Resources are available for download here. Please check the website for more details over the coming months. We look forward to celebrating Australia’s 6 million volunteers who generously give their time to various causes.

Funeral Notice – Brigadier Jeffrey James (Jim) Shelton DSO MC Retd 29 June 1926 – 13 May 2018

Passed away peacefully.
Much loved husband of Lyn (dec) and Caroline.
Treasured father of Wendy.

Profound thanks to those who cared for him

A funeral service will be held at the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St. Paul, RMC Duntroon, Robert Campbell Road, Campbell ACT, on Monday 4 June 2018, commencing at 11:30 am.
A private cremation will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Legacy please.

Grantley Perry & Sons Funeral Directors
(02) 62414101
Published in The Canberra Times on May 19, 2018

Vale Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC – 29 June 1926–13 May 2018

James Shelton was born in Melbourne on the 29th of June 1926. He attended Scotch College in Melbourne, and then Bendigo High School, before going on to study engineering at Melbourne University.

Shelton entered Duntroon as a cadet in February 1944. After graduating in December 1946, he was sent to Japan to serve with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan joining the 66th Battalion. He returned to Australia two years later, having been promoted to acting captain.

He next served as adjutant to a Citizens’ Military Force battalion in Adelaide, which is where he heard about the start of the Korean War.

Shelton was sent to the reinforcement holding unit in Japan in 1951 and joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) as a reinforcement officer after the battle of Kapyong.

He commanded A Company during the battle of Maryang San, for which he was awarded a Military Cross for his personal bravery and leadership.

After returning to Australia in 1952, Shelton was sent to England for a two year posting with the British Army. Here he attended numerous infantry courses and was attached to a British Battalion based at Luneberg in Germany, as part of the British Army of the Rhine.

On his return to Australia, Shelton served at the School of Infantry at Singleton before being posted as adjutant to Duntroon, where he was reunited with his friend and former commanding officer, Colonel (later General Sir) Frank Hassett.

Two years later, Shelton was posted to the Defence Force Staff College at Quetta in India. It was a posting he thoroughly enjoyed.

His next posting was to Army Headquarters in Melbourne. During this posting Army HQ transitioned to Canberra. Shelton returned to 3RAR as a company commander, before being promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Another two year posting to England followed, this time as an exchange instructor at the British Army Staff College, then located at Camberley. During this period Shelton met luminaries such as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

On his return to Australia at the start of 1967, Shelton was posted as commanding officer of 3RAR, then based at Woodside, South Australia. He was delighted to command the battalion with which he had already seen so much service and felt it to be the pinnacle of his service career. 3RAR deployed to Vietnam at the end of the year, and was soon on operations in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Shelton and his men took part in numerous operations in Vietnam, most notably the battles of Coral and Balmoral in May of 1968, in which the battalion experienced the most sustained combat experienced by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Shelton was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership during the long month of near-constant fighting.

After returning to Australia, Shelton returned to Army HQ and was promoted to colonel. After further postings to Citizen Military Forces, regular army units, and headquarters, he was promoted to brigadier. In 1972 he was given command of the 3rd Task Force (as it was then known) in Townsville. In 1974 Shelton returned to Army Headquarters in Canberra and took up several more staff appointments.

Following his retirement from the army in 1980, he was made honorary colonel of the Australian Army Band Corps, a position he held for 14 years. Shelton also completed a degree in history and geography at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Sunday 13 May 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the first battle of Coral. While watching the ceremony from his hospital bed, Jim Shelton, who had been unwell for some time, closed his eyes and passed away peacefully. He was 92 years old.

Shelton will be remembered by those who knew him and those who served with him as a true gentleman and a soldier’s soldier. Vale Brigadier Jim Shelton.

DVA Benefits to Families

Two new measures to benefit veterans and their families commenced on 1 May 2018

Veteran Payment
As part of DVA’s commitment to improving access to services for veterans and their families, the new Veteran Payment is now available to eligible individuals and their partners. This payment provides interim financial support to veterans who cannot work or support themselves while they await liability decisions on claims for mental health conditions under either the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) or the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA).

180504 – IS189 – Veteran Payment Overview

180510 – IS190 – How to access Veteran Payment

Extended Family Support Package

The Family Support Package is designed to extend family support under the MRCA for veterans and their families. There are two distinct groups that will benefit from this initiative: eligible veterans and their families, and eligible spouse or partner of deceased veterans. This initiative will provide guidance and financial support to alleviate pressures when needed the most. The time-limited support available include expanded childcare funding, additional counselling services and eligible widow(er)s will be entitled to home help.

180510- MRC52 – Family Support Package for Veterans and their Families

180510- MRC53 – Family Support Package for Widow(er)s

Vale – Brigadier J J Shelton, DSO, MC (Retd)

An RAR tribal elder has completed his duty.

I regret to inform you that BRIG Jim Shelton died this afternoon [Sunday 13 May 2018] in the NATCAP Private hospital, shortly after the conclusion of the Commemorative Service for the Battles of Coral and Balmoral.

BRIG Shelton was CO 3 RAR for these battles. He watched the live streaming of the parade and service in the hospital, and soon after quietly passed away.

Funeral and other details later.
His duty done.

John Robbins
Secretary
RAR Association (ACT Branch)
P: (02) 62901948
M: 0414 483 729
E: [email protected]