RSL Queensland has welcomed yesterday’s Federal Budget announcement that more than $490 million will be allocated to programs and services that support Australia’s veteran community.
RSL Queensland State President Tony Ferris said the Federal Government’s significant injection of funding to support those who have served our country will provide a significant boost to our ongoing work helping veterans achieve the quality of life they well deserve.
“In response to Queensland veterans’ concerns, we have been advocating to Federal Government the need for greater investment in key areas, especially much faster claims processing by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the establishment of well-being hubs.
“I am certain our veteran members will be particularly pleased to see an extra $23.3 million in funding to continue the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (DVA) Wellbeing and Support Program, and the planned establishment of a Veteran Wellbeing Centre in South-East Queensland.”
Mr Ferris said Defence Force personnel transitioning out of the military continue to face a range of unique challenges, with ongoing focus and investment required to address the root causes of veteran suicide.
“We will continue to work with the Federal Government to ensure the collective experience of our 33,000 members, along with our medical research and proven rehabilitation programs, are leveraged throughout the $492.5 million expansion of the government’s support programs.”
“RSL Queensland has stood shoulder to shoulder with Queensland’s Defence family since 1916 and we will continue to work with the Federal Government and hold their funding promises to account to ensure a bright future and enduring legacy for all veterans and their families,” Mr Ferris said.
Other Budget highlights include:
· $164.6M for additional DVA staff and resources to aid claims processing
· $21.4M to expand DVA’s capability to monitor veterans’ health and wellbeing needs in real-time
- $16.9M to continue the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment trial which funds medical treatment for veterans while waiting for a liability determination
· $5.1M to expand the Family Support Package for veterans in crisis and their families
· $2.3M to provide streamlined access to vocational and psychological rehabilitation