JOINT RELEASE WITH SENATOR TIM AYRES
A Senate Inquiry into Australian Public Service (APS) capability has revealed that a promised boost to department of Veteran affairs will temporary and will expire after two years.
In response to questions from Labor Senator and Inquiry Chair Tim Ayres, DVA officials conceded they would need to go back to the Government to request further Budget funding to maintain these staffing levels from 2023-24 onwards.
DVA revealed it has only filled 315 - or around two-thirds - of the around 440 temporary positions, and given the glacial pace of APS recruitment processes, there is a risk some of these jobs will not be even filled by the time the funding expires.
Meanwhile, veterans are waiting between 178 and 186 days to resolve their compensation claims – with a backlog more than 49 000 unprocessed claims as of December 2020.
The 2021-22 Veterans’ Affairs budget was a clear attempt by the Government to apply short-term political fixes and band-aid solutions
In response to questions from Senator Ayres in Senate Estimates in June, DVA officials said that demand was continuing to outstrip staff capacity and the department would still need to hire more labour hire contractors to manage the workload.
The Government needs to do the right thing and abolish its arbitrary APS staffing cap so DVA can hire the staff it needs and give our veterans the services they deserve.
After eight long years, this tired Government is still letting down our veterans and their families.