Labor’s National Conference has endorsed the value of our defence personnel and veterans, and committed a future Labor government to providing strong support for defence and veteran families.
Families play a huge role when it comes to supporting our ADF personnel and veterans, so it’s important that we recognise them in Labor’s National Platform, the party’s primary policy document.
Federal Member for Blair and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann said this was all the more important because the Morrison Government has completely failed our current and ex-service men and women, including those in his electorate of Blair.
“Under the Liberals and Nationals, waiting times for veterans’ compensation claims have blown out and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has been privatised by stealth, with 50 per cent of claims processing staff and 42 per cent of the whole department now labour hire workers sourced from 46 different providers,” he said.
“The Coalition tried to raise veterans’ hopes before the last election by announcing reviews of the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) pension and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) superannuation scheme, only to dash them after the election.
“And the Prime Minister has stubbornly refused to listen to veterans and families, and establish a Royal Commission into veteran suicides, even after a motion calling for this passed both Houses of Parliament in recent weeks.
“Scott Morrison is completely out of touch with what many veterans and constituents in Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs region want.
“In contrast, Labor has listened to mothers like Julie-Ann Finney and Karen Bird, who have tragically lost their sons to suicide, and an Albanese Labor Government will call a Royal Commission to deliver justice for veterans and families.
“We will also ensure strong support for defence and veteran families, fix DVA so it is fit-for-purpose, we have already established independent Senate inquiries into the TPI pension and DFRDB scheme, and we will help veterans who are struggling with employment and homelessness.
“Veterans are telling us they feel taken for granted by this bad government and they want Labor to fight for them.
“Labor’s strong message to our defence personnel, veterans and families is that we hear you and we are on your side,” Mr Neumann said.
Labor’s Special Platform Conference is being held on 30 and 31 March at the Revesby Workers’ Club in Western Sydney and as an online virtual event.