Federal Member for Blair and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann held a veteran roundtables in Narangba and Bribie Island today with Queensland Senator Anthony Chisholm and Labor’s candidate for Longman Rebecca Fanning.
The forums were an opportunity to meet with local veterans and ex-service organisations in the Moreton Bay, Caboolture and Bribie Island regions to hear their concerns.
Topics discussed included Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and service delivery failures, defence and veteran mental health and suicide, transitional support for people leaving the Australian Defence Force (ADF), and service pensions.
Senator Chisholm said he had met with many veterans from across Queensland in recent months and many were fed up with the Morrison Government’s performance.
“For a start, veterans are waiting too long to get their entitlements and waiting times for compensation claims have continued to blow out while DVA deals with a huge backlog of applications.
“We need to do more to support our defence personnel when it comes to transitioning out of the ADF and into civilian life through assistance with mental health, employment, housing and homelessness,
“I know many veterans are also frustrated with the Government’s lack of action when it comes to the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) pension and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) scheme,” he said.
Ms Fanning said more needed to be done to tackle the scourge of veteran suicides, in particular.
“It was good to see the Government finally establish the Royal Commission into defence and veteran suicide, which Labor and veterans had been calling for since 2019.
“It’s important that the Royal Commission be a bipartisan issue, and the Government needs to ensure that veterans and families are at the centre of this process.
“This is a one in 100-year opportunity to fix our broken veteran support system – to identify problems and solutions, listen to the ideas of our veterans, defence personnel and others, and implement lasting changes that will save lives.
Mr Neumann said there was a large ex-service community in the Moreton and Bribie regions, and as a community we had a duty to look after these people, who have put their lives on the line for our nation.
“The Morrison Government has completely neglected and taken for granted our ex-service community.
“Only Labor is on the side of veterans and defence personnel and their families in Longman.
“That’s why they need a Labor Government in Canberra and a strong advocate in Rebecca Fanning,” Mr Neumann said.