Battle rages for Diggers – RCB veterans have not surrendered nor will they…

ON the night of December 7-8 1941, Japanese forces began invading Malaya, hours before the attack on US territory Pearl Harbour,
Australia’s first casualties on December 8 were the crews of two 1Sqn RAAF Hudson bombers from six aircraft dispatched to bomb Japan’s invasion fleet.
When Japanese aircraft attacked Butterworth, some RAAF Buffaloes were in the air and tried to intercept, but they were an inadequate match for the speedy Japanese fighters.
The ADF has maintained a long relationship with Butterworth, through the first Malayan Emergency 1950-1960, Confrontation, Vietnam and the second Malaysian Emergency (Counter Insurgency War 1969-1989) to the present day.
From 1958 to 1988 the airfield was an Australian military asset, known formally as RAAF Butterworth.
From 1970 an Australian Army infantry company has been deployed to Butterworth, though successive Australian governments have employed various subterfuges to camouflage their real role.
Although the deployment was officially described as training with Malaysian forces, its actual, formally denied role was to be a ready reaction force to defend, if required, the RAAF assets including Mirage fighters based there.
There is no doubt until 1989 there was a real threat to Australian personnel and assets based at Butterworth, nor that RCB was established and armed to react to that threat should it eventuate.
Yet successive Australian governments have consistently refused to recognise RCB service as warlike, and concede appropriate veteran benefits to those who served in that period.
The RCB veterans lobby group, have gathered a massive database of previously classified material which indubitably supports their claims for recognition.
They will not rest until they clear the fog of bureaucratic and political obfuscation which continues to deny their evidence.

READ  ROSS EASTGATE’S FULL ARTICLE

Note a correction to the article: Robert Cross is the RCB’s veterans lobby group (RCB Review Group) leader of which Ted Chitham (past CO 8/9 RAR 1974-1976) is a member.

“RCB veterans have not surrendered nor will they…” Ross Eastgate

RCB Service Recognition – Senator Anning’s Questions to Marise Payne

In the Senate Question Time yesterday, 18th September, Senator  Fraser Anning  (Katter’ s Australian Party) asked  Sen. Marise Payne three questions on RCB Service recognition as warlike during the Malaysian Counter Insurgency War.

We thank Senator Anning for his support. He has read the evidence and is championing our claim for an independent inquiry

You can watch the event here:

A challenge to  the accuracy of Senator Payne’s answers is being prepared by the RCB Review Group. Until we present that challenge we ask our supporters to keep calm.

Senate’s Support of a Australian Military Covenant Welcomed

The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA), together with not only its partners in the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) but also with the support of the Returned and Services League of Australia, have long advocated the need to formally recognise the unique nature of military service through a legislated Australian Military Covenant.

A motion for adopting such a Covenant was moved in the Senate and passed on Wednesday 12 September 2018. In commenting on the welcome development, the Association’s National President, Kel Ryan, wished to congratulate Katter’s Australia Party Senator Fraser Anning for his initiative in proposing the motion, stating that: “bi partisan effort should now be applied to make sure that legislative processes for the proposed Australian Military Covenant could finalized in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice marking cessation of hostilities in the Great War”.

Kel wished to also acknowledge both the Government’s and the Labor Opposition’s support for a Military Covenant, each progressing towards enshrining the mutual obligations between the Nation and its servicemen and servicewomen and placing on public record the Nation’s enduring obligations to those who currently serve and those who once served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

He proffered that: “the Covenant would promote greater awareness and understanding of the demands placed on ADF members and dovetail in perfectly with the Prime Minister’s employment initiative because ADF members are a national resource that can bring enormous value to the Australian workforce and, if properly harnessed, will significantly enhance the skill sets in Australian commercial enterprises for the benefit of the nation and its economic competitiveness”.

Contacts

Anning Continues to Fight for Veterans Covenant

During Question Time today, outspoken KAP Senator for Queensland Fraser Sen AnningAnning kept the pressure on the Government ensuring they legislated an Australian Military Covenant. Speaking afterwards, Senator Anning expressed his frustration at the apparently vague and evasive responses by the Minister.
“After my motion yesterday which called for the legislation of an Australian Military Covenant was passed by the Senate, I continued my push today by questioning Minister Payne on the Governments apparent lethargy.”
“I asked what the Government’s position was on the establishment of the Covenant; however despite the Minister making all the right noises, there was no specific commitment and only a vague reference to the end of 2018.”
“To say the least I am sceptical of her actual commitment, as the Government has had since 2015 to implement anything meaningful and so far they haven’t.”
“If we look at the situation honestly there has been ample time to consult with veterans groups and develop a Covenant which honours our social contract and moral obligation to look after our veterans.”
“It is only now after my strong and continued push along with Labors election promise that the Government is willing to do something.”
“Let’s be clear, there is no further requirement for more “consultation” or the establishment of yet another “working group.” The wording of a draft Australian Military Covenant has been provided already by the veteran’s community.”
“My supplementary question put to the Minister also asked if she was prepared to recognise a reversal of the onus of proof in veteran’s disability claims.”
“The response was not very hopeful.”
“It is very clear that the onus should be reversed and at the very least be the same level of willingness to compensate veterans as Centrelink provides to those seeking welfare,” Senator Anning said.
“As I have said before, our great nation has been built on the backs and sacrifice of our military. Now is the time to stop equivocating, dithering and playing political games. It is now the time for the government to act.”
”What the veteran community deserves is a specific commitment stating when the Government will enshrine the Australian Military Covenant in legislation. Until then, they are just honeyed words and insincere placation,” Senator Anning concluded.
14 September 2018

Katters Australian Party

RARA Comment 

We acknowledge and appreciate Senator Anning’s and  the KAP’s advocacy on veterans’ issues in the Senate.

 

Senator Anning Takes Lead on Adopting the Military Covenant

Today in the Senate, outspoken KAP senator Fraser Anning moved a motion for the establishment and implementation of an Australian Military Covenant.
In essence it is a reciprocal social contract between the nation and those willing to sacrifice rights, liberty and their life to defend that nation. It is a declaration and commitment from the nation to accept responsibility for veterans’ wellbeing after their service is complete.
Speaking after the conclusion of the vote, Senator Anning expressed his delight that his motion passed.
“It is great to see various policy announcements by the major parties however this issue is too important to remain just a policy or election promise.”
“We need multipartisan support from all sides of the political spectrum to ensure that policy announcements and backbench murmurings are turned into action.” Senator Anning said.
“My motion calls on the government to consult with the veteran community then enshrine in legislation an Australian Military Covenant.”
“We have an absolute responsibility as a nation to ensure that our veterans are not abandoned after the completion of their service.” Senator Anning continued.
It is only just that those who risk life and limb to allow us to sleep safe in our beds are looked after by us after their service and not abandoned to fall victim to their wounds, whether physical or psychological.”
“Our great nation has been built on the backs and sacrifice of our military, now is the time to stop dithering and playing political games. It is now the time for the government to act.” Senator Anning concluded.

12 September 2018
Senator Fraser Anning
Senator for Queensland

Labor commits to a Military Covenant

Hello

I am writing to you as the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP, and I have recently announced that Labor will commit, if elected, to the establishment of a Military Covenant.

This Covenant recognises the unique nature of military service and our obligation to those who serve our country and their loved ones.

When a person commits their life and their safety to the Australian Defence Force, we in turn undertake a commitment to supporting them and their loved ones both during and after their service.

A Military Covenant is a document signed by the Government and the Chief of the Defence Force which reinforces this commitment. The Covenant will be accompanied by legislation which will require regular reporting to Parliament on how the Government is meeting its obligation to our current and ex-serving defence personnel.

The Military Covenant will stand as a testament to Labor’s commitment to those who are or have served our country.

This builds on Labor’s previous commitments to the current and ex-serving defence community including our $121 million Veterans’ Employment Policy and our Family Engagement and Support Strategy.

Further information on this commitment can be found here.

In addition, as the Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, I regularly communicate with ex-service organisations and members of the veteran community, if you would like to be kept in the loop, please email me at [email protected]
Yours sincerely

Amanda

Help us in the Case Supporting the CSC Campaign

We believe the The Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation’s (CSC) exclusion from the Royal Commission is wrong and want the Government to reverse its decision.

The CSC  is the Trustee for both our ADF Military Superannuation Schemes (230,000 clients) and the Australian Public Service Schemes (470,000)

 

 

We believe this is wrong and have lobbied the Government for the CSC’s inclusion HERE   The ALP supports our request

It is important to note that members of the ADF cannot elect to have their
superannuation contributions made to a fund of their choice, nor can they transfer
their employer contributions to another superannuation fund. This means that current and former ADF personnel do not have the freedom to move their superannuation to another fund should they be dissatisfied with the Trustee’s conduct.

In recent years, several issues have arisen with respect to the way the  CSC administers the ADF Schemes. Specifically, these issues relate to members who are in receipt of invalidity payments (Veteran Beneficiaries):
    1. the CSC’s inability to administer the ADF Schemes in accordance with  their respective Trust Deeds and governing legislation;
    2. the lack of regulatory review of the CSC’s conduct to ensure that it is meeting its obligations under its Trust Deeds;
    3. the CSC’s persistent failure to conduct itself honestly, fairly and transparently in its dealings with its members/beneficiaries and in accordance with Modal Litigant Rules; and
    4. the CSC’s inability to resolve issues and complaints made by its members in accordance with natural justice principles.

READ THE CASE FOR  CSC INCLUSION

In this document, are specific examples of the CSC’s conduct which has
fallen short of the professional standards and benchmarks of conduct expected not only by a financial services provider, but more importantly, as a Commonwealth Government entity.

We believe that the CSC should receive the same level of scrutiny as any other
financial services entity included in the Royal Commission and by excluding it the
Royal Commission would fail in upholding the fundamental right of all Australians
“to be treated honestly and fairly in their dealings with banking superannuation and financial services providers. The highest standards of conduct are critical to the good governance and corporate culture of those providers.”

You can help us in two immediate ways:

Ring your local MP and register your concern, and

If you have had any adverse experiences in dealings with the CSC then please contact Brad Campbell or email ADSO at [email protected] with details

 

CSC and the Royal Commission – Protest Rally

Our planned protest rally yesterday 28th June in Brisbane was successful in achieving our goals: to publicly promote the matters by our presence outside the entrance to the Royal Commission Hearings, to gain media attention and to deliver a letter to the Royal Commissioner The Hon K. M. Hayne AM.

We had a good turnout of supporters both younger and older veterans and some with their wives. Present were Brad Campbell and members of Australian Veterans Alliance who run the Veteran Clawback group, John Lowis from DFWA, Ted Chitham from ADSO, Robert Cross, Rod Slater and Gary McMahon from the RAR Association and others with an assistance dog to hold the placards, handout fllyers and information sheets and answer questions from the public

 

(some of the “Protest Team” – Rod Slater was the photographer.)

It was good to see the effect of collaboration between the different ESO’s.

We were pleased to be allowed by the Royal Commissioner to hand deliver a personal request letter addressed to him through a Royal Commission staff person. The letter endorsed by ADSO, the RSL, and the Australian Public Sevice superannuation association/organisations – The Superannuated Commissioned Officers Association (SCOA) and the Australian Council of Public Sector Retiree Organisations (ACPSRO), urged the Commissioner to remedy the exclusion of the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation from the Royal Commissions Terms of Reference by a recommendation to the Federal Government. Ted Chitham, Brad Campbell and John Lowis were able to brief the staffer on the reasons for our request.  We are hopeful that the Commissioner will support our request.

Brad and Ted were interviewed by both TV Channels 7 and 10 and the ABC said they would do a phone interview with Brad next week from the Royal Commission when they cover Superannuation in Darwin. There is No guarantee of being aired, but we can only hope.

A big thank you to John Lowis for organising the event and a huge thank you to those that turned up. Awesome effort by all.

Stand ready for further action

 

CSC Campaign / Royal Commission – Facts Sheets

 

FACT SHEET ONE – OVERVIEW
COMMONWEALTH SUPERANNUATION CORPORATION ESCAPES ROYAL COMMISSION SCRUTINY

The Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC) is the fund manager for the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) scheme, the Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme (MSBS) and ADF Super.

The Terms of Reference of the Royal Commission into Financial Services specifically exclude only ONE financial organisation from scrutiny – CSC.

It is reasonable to ask why the Government doesn’t want CSC Executives to be held accountable before the Royal Commission in the same way as other financial organisation executives. What is the Government trying to keep hidden from the Australian people?

This Fact Sheet helps to answer that question.

 

FACT SHEET TWO – REBUTTAL
COMMONWEALTH SUPERANNUATION CORPORATION ESCAPES ROYAL COMMISSION SCRUTINY

REBUTTAL OF GOVERNMENT EXCUSES

The Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry specifically protected ONLY ONE financial organisation, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation (CSC), from the scrutiny of Royal Commission investigators.

The CSC manages the superannuation funds of military veterans, among others, and ADSO and RSL have called on the Government to include CSC in Terms of Reference for the Inquiry. The Government refused and offered reasons for its refusal that border on the disingenuous.

This Fact Sheet rebuts the Government arguments for CSC exclusion from Royal Commission scrutiny.

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.