From: Ministerial Subscription List
Sent: Fri 18/03/2011 3:26 PM

MILITARY COMPENSATION REVIEW REPORT RELEASED

Delivering on an Australian Government election commitment, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, today announced the release of the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements report and called for feedback from defence and veteran communities.

“The health and wellbeing of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members, veterans and their families, is a high priority for this Government, and this Review is important in determining how we can continually improve the provision of military rehabilitation and compensation.

“The Review of Military Compensation Arrangements determined that the current scheme relating to rehabilitation and compensation for service personnel and their families was based on sound principles, but that some improvements could be made.

“This Review is a significant step by the Government towards addressing concerns raised about military rehabilitation and compensation legislation that was introduced in 2004. The Steering Committee reported that there are no fundamental flaws in what is a complex and relatively new scheme,” Mr Snowdon said.

The Review report made 108 recommendations covering a wide range of issues raised in public submissions and consultations.

In summary, of the 108 recommendations:

- 28 call for legislative change

- 25 focussed on administration

- 12 call for policy review and 11 call for further work to be undertaken

- 25 of the recommendations are for no change and 7 support current initiatives.

Mr Snowdon said that four of the recommendations featured two options each and this reflected the divergence of views among members of the Review Steering Committee on a few specific issues relating to aspects of compensation and access to health care.

“That is not unusual given that a number of government agencies with differing perspectives and roles were represented on the Steering Committee.

“It is also not unexpected given the complexity and sensitivity of the issues and that is why feedback from the defence and veteran communities will be important to consider.”

Mr Snowdon said the report is now being released for comment until 30 June 2011. “The report is detailed and substantial, so to ensure there is sufficient time for the defence and veteran communities to study its contents, there will be more than three months for interested parties to provide input.

“The Government will provide its response once this consultation process is complete.

“I would like to thank the Steering Committee for its hard work during the course of the Review.”

The full report and its recommendations can be found on the DVA website. Background information on the Review is on the DVA Media Centre.

Media inquiries:
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203 or 0413 994 704
Minister Snowdon: Alice Plate 0400 045 999