VIDEO – #Vetrans Clawback – CSC & The Banking Royal Commission

 

The only significant Superannuation Organisation NOT included in the Australian Banking Royal Commission is the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation. The CSC. It manages our Military Super.

The Defence Community has been pleading for the Turnbull Govt to give them a Fair Go – just like all other Australians – and have their super fund scrutinised like the all others.

The Labor Opposition supports the call for a Fair Go.

The Govt has dug in and says the CSC is “well regulated and scrutinised.” That’s what they said about the banks!

With elections looming the Defence Community wishes to see who is going to fight for us.
Please call your local Federal MP and ask for their support and participate in our ADSO actions.

Invitation – Inquiry into ADF use of Mefloquine and Tafenoquine

On 19 June 2018 the Senate referred to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee a range of matters relating to the ADF use of Mefloquine and Tafenoquine for inquiry and report by 17 September 2018. 

The full terms of reference are to inquire with particular reference to:

(a) the current and past policies and practices for:
(i) prescribing Quinoline anti-malarial drugs to ADF personnel, and
(ii) identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions from Quinoline anti-malarial drugs among ADF personnel;

(b) the nature and extent of any adverse health effects of those who have taken Mefloquine/Tafenoquine on serving and former ADF personnel;

(c) the support available for partners, carers and families of personnel who experience any adverse health effects of Quinoline anti-malarial drugs;

(d) a comparison of international evidence/literature available on the impact of Quinoline anti-malarials;

(e) how other governments have responded to claims regarding Quinoline anti-malarials; and

(f) any other related matters.

The purpose of this letter of invitation is to draw your attention to the inquiry and to invite you or your organisation to make a written submission to the committee by 31 July 2018.

READ THE DETAILS

ALP Supports – Banking Royal Commission Must Include CSC in Terms of Reference

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.

Royal Commission

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.

Open Letter to the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP Prime Minister of Australia

 

 

 

Dear Prime Minister,

ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY
Call to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations and the Returned & Services League of Australia, on behalf of 230,000 serving and former Australian Defence Force men and women, and their families, whose superannuation is managed by the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) cordially pose you the question:
“Why is the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation excluded from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry”?

CSC is the only significant superannuation entity in Australia to avoid examination with the Government claiming that it is “not only already well-regulated but is also subject to greater scrutiny and accountability than other funds by Acts of Parliament, by the Australian National Audit Office, and through oversight by a Senate Estimates process”.

Those very same ‘well-regulated’ claims were initially made as arguments against holding a Banking Royal Commission. What has transpired at recent Commission hearings starkly exposed the inability of established regulators to deal with misconduct. No misconduct is necessarily implied against CSC but what possible confidence could anyone now have that the very same or similar inability to properly scrutinise should not apply to CSC’s regulators as well.

Simply put, the veterans’ community is not convinced of assurances that CSC is as well oversighted and regulated as has been the claim thus far. As an example, if CSC always acts in the best interests of its members, what could have driven legal proceedings, self-funded by disabled individual exservice personnel as recently as last week, seeking redress for claimed unfairness and injustices.

The Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference say: “All Australians have the right to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with…. superannuation…. providers.”

The Defence Family of 230,000 service men and women, serving and retired, and those they leave behind, are also Australians. Why is their superannuation provider excluded from Royal Commission scrutiny? Why deny the Defence Family an equal voice in making submissions to the Royal Commission?

We urge you to include the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation in the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference without further delay. Fairness demands nothing less!

Yours sincerely,

 

                        

 

 

Kel Ryan                                                                                Robert Dick
National Spokesman                                                           National President
Alliance of Defence Service Organisations                      RSL Australia
Mobile: 0418 759 120                                                           Mobile: 0448 889 848

Phone: (02) 6265 9530   Email: [email protected] ABN: 49 929 713 439

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RSL & ADSO Comments

The Open Letter has been sent to the PM and all Federal Parliamentarians, the Defence Family network and national media outlets.

The ALP has announced its support for our request here.

We ask your support for the CSC to be included in the Royal Commission by calling the PM (both his electorate office (02) 9327 3988 and parliamentary office (02) 6277 7700) and your local Federal member at their electorate office (details at www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members  , ideally before Parliament resumes next week 18th June or during the Parliament sittings (18 – 21 June and 25 – 28 June)
Thank you Australia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALP – Labor announces Senate Inquiry Inquiry into the use of Anti – Malarials in the ADF

Today, Labor has announced that we will move to establish a Senate Inquiry into the use of the Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force.

 

HWA

It is almost two years since the Turnbull Government first acknowledged concerns around the use of the anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine.

However, members of the serving and ex-service community have continued to raise their concerns around the side effects from some anti-malarial drugs which were taken during their service.

It is time for a proper and public examination of the issue and to establish the facts.

In that spirit, Labor has discussed the draft Terms of Reference with the Government to ensure the Senate Inquiry has the opportunity to work through this issue in an open and transparent manner and provide a thorough and comprehensive report about the use of Quinoline anti-malarial drugs in the ADF.

The draft terms of reference for the inquiry are:

The use of the Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force with particular reference to:

A. Current and past policies and practices for prescribing quinolone anti-malarial drugs to ADF personnel

B. Current and past policies and practices for identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions from quinoline anti-malarial drugs among ADF personnel

C. The nature and extent of any adverse health effects of those who have taken Mefloquine/Tafenoquine on serving and former ADF personnel

D. Support available for partners, carers and families of personnel who experience any adverse health effects of quinoline anti-malarial drugs

E. A comparison of international evidence/literature available on the impact of quinoline anti-malarials

F. How other governments have responded to claims regarding quinoline anti-malarials

G. Any other related matters.

Labor understands this is a complex issue and looks forward to the Inquiry providing further transparency on this issue.

It is anticipated the inquiry would hold public hearings to allow all voices to have an opportunity to be heard.

Labor will consult with senators over the coming weeks to establish the inquiry during the next sittings of the Senate in June.

Amanda Rishworth MP & Senator Alex Gallacher
Tuesday 5 June 2018

Senate Questions on Notice 9 – RCB Recognition of Service

Senator Brian Burston  (PHONP) presented Questions On Notice re RCB submissions to the Defence Minister, Sen, Marisse Payne on 15th December 2017. The answers from the Department of Defence were provided by Sen. Mathais Cormann (in the Minister’s absence) in the Senate in February 2018

There are ten questions and answers. Each day hereafter we will post one of those questions and the answer  with our response to the answer.

Question 9 – Sen. Burston (PHONP)

Why was Minister Billson’s determination to Grade RCB as “hazardous service” in 2006 not implemented prior to, or after, the change of government in 2007? 

 

Answer 9. Sen. Cormann for Sen. Payne

As a result of a number of representations on 18th September 2007 the them Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence declared that the service of Rifle Company Butterworth should be retrospectively reclassified as either hazardous or non-warlike service.

In 2009 it was found that the instruments had omitted RAAF security personnel. contained incorrect dates, omitted key references and were not registered in the Federal Register of Legislative instruments. In response to the continuing campaign conducted by ex RCB members seeking war-like service, a new review from first principles comprehensively investigated RCB service since inception, locating Government files and documents that were never considered in the 2007 review. 

The 2011 review was not supportive of the classification of RCB services as anything other than peacetime service.

On 21 March 2012 the then Parliamentary Secretary for Defence recommended that the nature of all ADF service at Butterworth should remain as peacetime from 12 August 1966 to the present. A detailed explanation of this decision was provided to the Chairman of the RCB Review Group in a letter dated 19 May 2012. This decision is consistent with the long-standing Government determination that the nature of service of all ADF service at the end of confrontation is peacetime.

RCB Review Group Response to the Answer 9.

RCB Logo SML

The Government response claims that Defence conducted a comprehensive review in 2009 (which it failed to include the RCB Review Group in), claiming to find new material not considered in their 2007 determination.  Why were we not notified and included in that Review?

Unsurprisingly, this led to the same result – non-recommendation of war-like service. The overturning of ex-Minister’s Billson’s decision, because it had not been processed, was a very opportune chance for the government (again on ‘advice’ from Defence), to ‘situate the appreciation’, therefore nullifying a Ministerial decision through an administrative fiat. This latest response to the Question again is another case of stubborn refusal to right a wrong.

Senate Questions on Notice 8 – RCB Recognition of Service

Senator Brian Burston  (PHONP) presented Questions On Notice re RCB submissions to the Defence Minister, Sen, Marisse Payne on 15th December 2017. The answers from the Department of Defence were provided by Sen. Mathais Cormann (in the Minister’s absence) in the Senate in February 2018

There are ten questions and answers. Each day hereafter we will post one of those questions and the answer  with our response to the answer.

Question 8 – Sen. Burston (PHONP)

As the minister responsible for both Service Personnel  AND Veterans’ Affairs, to what extent is he (as opposed to script writing staff) aware of the adverse effect the continued denial of justice is having on RCB veterans when they learn they are represented in Parliament  by an entity that cannot seem to accept overwhelming evidence?

Answer 8. Sen. Cormann for Sen. Payne

The Government appreciates the unique nature of military service and is committed to ensuring that all current and ex-serving ADF members have access to appropriate services.

 

RCB Review Group Response to the Answer 8.

RCB Logo SML

This weak, stock-standard platitude does not answer the question, indicating that RCB veterans just go away and access ‘appropriate support services’, when in fact the Minister should insist on examining the accuracy and honesty of his briefing staff to get to the bottom of the issue. This is a complete deflection by the man in the best position to address the issue at stake.

 

DVA Minister – Putting Veterans and their Families First – New Study to Improve Advocacy Services

A MAJOR study to improve advocacy services for veterans and their families has commenced under the leadership of the former Chair of the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, Mr Robert Cornall AO.

download 16Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said the study was part of the Turnbull Government’s ongoing commitment to put veterans and their families first and delivers on a significant part of the Government’s response to the concerns raised in the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Reference’s committee report: The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans.

“Veterans and their families deserve to have easy access to the best services available to them and this study has been established to ensure that happens,” Mr Chester said.

“This study will go a long way to helping our younger veterans and their families navigate the compensation claims and appeals processes and it will address a number of improvements to the current advocacy model which were recommended in the report.

“Mr Cornall has an excellent track record in working with the Defence and legal communities, and I’m confident he’ll bring all his experience to bear on finding new ways to ensure those who’ve served our nation get the best possible advocacy.”

Mr Cornall will talk to younger veterans, female veterans, veterans’ families, ex-service organisations, and the broader Defence community in coming months.

The latest research will be reviewed, veterans’ advocacy services in other countries will be examined, and advocacy models in other areas, such as the legal services, community, and disability sectors will be looked at.

“I hope many individuals and organisations will contribute their experiences and ideas to the study,” Mr Chester said.

Separate to this study, Mr Chester said the recent passage of new veterans’ legislation will also have a big impact on improving the health and wellbeing of those who have served their country.

For more information about the advocacy study, visit  here  or send an email to [email protected].

16 April 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.

Senate Questions on Notice 6 – RCB Recognition of Service

Senator Brian Burston  (PHONP) presented Questions On Notice re RCB submissions to the Defence Minister, Sen, Marisse Payne on 15th December 2017. The answers from the Department of Defence were provided by Sen. Mathais Cormann (in the Minister’s absence) in the Senate in February 2018

There are ten questions and answers. Each day hereafter we will post one of those questions and the answer  with our response to the answer.

Question 6 – Sen. Burston (PHONP)

How does the minister and his advisors propose to defend the official position they adopt on the RCB claim when the public and mass media are alerted to the scale and duration of the deliberate deception regarding the true nature of  the RCB deployment during the Communist Insurgency?

Answer 6. Sen. Cormann for Sen. Payne

The Department of Defence has been diligent in undertaking an extensive and comprehensive examination of available evidence to ensure  an accurate and balanced perspective on ADF service at Butterworth during the period 1968 to 1989, The view that ADF service at Butterworth during this period does not satisfy the criteria for classification as warlike service is supported by the Department of Prime Minster and Cabinet, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Finance and Deregulation. It is also consistent with independent Australian and New Zealand reviews and inquiries. 

RCB Review Group Response to the Answer 6.

RCB Logo SML

This response is an indirect generalisation that seeks to create the impression that the big ’Government must be right’, so therefore the little RCB Review Group must be wrong. This is done by listing supposed ‘supporting departments’, and a NZ entity.

If these other agencies actually do agree with Defence, then they can do so only on the basis of the selective briefs Defence will have supplied to them, or due to their very limited involvement, not because they will have independently studied the entire RCB data.

Reference to the NZ study is an ‘own-goal’. The Butterworth element of that study is widely discredited by the NZ veterans’ community due to its near-total reliance on a single (and highly biased) person’s input to reach – unsurprisingly – almost the same conclusion as the Australian Government. There is NO Australian data in the NZ study. So how can the NZ study possibly be inferred to apply to the RCB?  Further, the NZ story only covered 1970-73 when the NZs went home, whereas the AS experience, being subject to continuing Australian Government deception actions and enemy activity post-1973, is very different.

Classic drawing at straws.

Poem – Tic – Toc – Tic – Toc

ANZAC Day is reaching out and is a day when our nation stretches even taller.  Its main streets crowded with young and old mid a sea of waving flags. It is such a precious day which shouts to the world of our national unity and spirit. It is a time when we seek the past to reflect on who we were, are now and what we must strive to be. It is a stark reminder of those we honour who have defended a fortunate life now enjoyed by us. Our sacred duty, today, tomorrow and beyond is to keep it so. 

Today, we are living in what is rapidly becoming a fool’s paradise fertilised by political correctness and growing public apathy. Above all, with few exceptions are the inept politicians at all levels of governments who react far too readily to the demands of a noisy blustering minority within our society.

The consequence of our apathy is that our values of life are slowly but surely being eroded. Health, education and social disciplines are such examples, not forgetting our judicial system where the scales of justice have been tampered with to favour the guilty at the expense of the victims.

There are many contradictions in this frantic Space Age.

Our Politicians talk of unity yet all we hear is “Them and Us”

Once upon a time there was a beating of chests to claim one people, one flag, one nation and yet now we are running out of flagpoles for at least three flags which are to be seen in most government infrastructure. Is that national unity?

In parliament, so much squabbling and chest beating spent on trivia issues as opposed to unified efforts to pursue national matters, desperately in need of urgent repair

Once, free speech was a sacred right and yet now you cannot say what you want to say, without fear of being mocked, accused of racism or even worse.

We cannot sustain our chosen way of life unless we’re prepared to respect and protect it. You know it; I know it; the soldiers marching know it and those men and women from all those past generations who created and defended our nation with their own sweat, blood and tears  would have known it.

 

 

 

 


It’s time to roll up the sleeves and tell our elected political leaders to remove the blinkers and ear muffs. It’s time to tell all of them that enough is enough and take us forward, not as diverse groups but as one with a positive sense of purpose. The first step is for them to shove that political correctness where the sun never shines.   

George Mansford  April 2018

      TICK- TOCK – TICK – TOCK

If you listen carefully as precious time ticks by

You will hear the spirits of our fallen in high pitched cry

Wailing with echoes bouncing to and fro of “Why, oh, why?”

As on wet park benches and gloomy dark streets; the homeless sleep

Gold coins for foreign aid are sent while our poor have none to keep 

Such irony that our past gave all to defend our nation with might  

Yet today, apathy abounds as values are slowly stolen without fight 

Sneaking closer are two legged jackals to steal, tear and bite

Read with awe of Kokoda where outnumbered youth stood fast

Sick, starved, wet and weary; defended our way of life to the last

Hear ghostly groans of despair as they study our space- age forts 

Carjacks, home invasion, terrorists, deadly ice and political rorts

No longer walking the streets at night unless with whistle and mace

In homes, security cameras, alarms and locks are always in place

Forget free speech; “the thought police” tell us what we can say 

Behind smoke screens, chameleons brainwash our young, day by day

Today, recreational drugs and joy riding in stolen cars are part of life

Fearing to be mocked if what you say is distorted as racist strife

The meek knock and wait; for others, red carpet and open door

How can you pay with empty wallets when tax men demand more?

In this maddening, changing place, just remember who’s in charge

Stricken circus clowns tumbling with visions from shimmering mirage

That noise you hear isn’t a Jumbo Jet or Tsunami in full roar

Its bitterness and anger of common folk, growing more and more

Past generations’ sacrifices were for a way of life to follow

Today, many a Judas takes pieces of silver to betray our tomorrow

Blood, sweat and tears is the call and no more national debts to seed

We must unite; regather past dreams and elect True Blues’ to lead

Only then, will we find happiness and pride, not despair and sorrow

Meanwhile, if you listen carefully as precious time ticks by

You will hear spirits of our fallen once more in high pitched cry

Wailing echoes still bouncing to and fro of “Why, oh, why?”

George Mansford ©March 2018