From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Subscription List
Sent: Wed 15/05/2013 9:01 AM

SUPPORT FOR OUR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES

The Gillard Government will deliver an additional $66.7 million in the 2013-14 Federal Budget for increased support and services to Australia’s veteran and ex-service community, and to ensure the dignified commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac.

“It has always been a top priority of this Government to make sure those who have put their lives on the line in defence of our great nation get the support they deserve,” Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, said.

The 2013-14 Budget delivers $12.5 billion in overall funding for the veteran community, this includes $6.8 billion for pensions and income support, $5.6 billion for health services and $0.1 billion for commemorations, including the Centenary of Anzac.

The 2013-14 Federal Budget will also deliver an additional $66.7 million in funding to ensure veterans and their families, receive quality care, services and support, and their service is commemorated. This includes an additional investment of $26.4 million for mental health services.

“As Australia winds down its role in Afghanistan, we will see a growing number of men and women who have been deployed on operational service. As a Government we want to make sure they are looked after.

“The mental health of veterans is a critical priority, and that’s why we are funding $26.4 million for the prevention, early intervention and treatment of mental health conditions in this year’s Budget,” Mr Snowdon said.

“We understand that families and friends play a crucial role in helping our veterans cope with the difficulties they face. A number of the measures announced today recognise this important relationship and will provide additional assistance to these support networks,” Mr Snowdon said.

The Gillard Government has also strengthened its commitment to commemorate Australian servicemen and women, past and present.

“The Anzac Centenary is an important period of commemoration for the nation, and I am proud that this Government is able to provide the funding support that it truly deserves,” Mr Snowdon said.

An additional $40.2 million will be provided for the Centenary Commemorations in the 2013-14 Budget, taking the Government’s total funding for the Anzac Centenary over $140 million.

Additional funding in the 2013-14 Budget includes:

• $25.0 million for initiatives in response to recommendations put forward in the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board’s Report to Government on the Anzac Centenary program; • $7.7 million to provide deductible gift recipient (DGR) status for the Anzac Centenary Public Fund, the National Boer War Memorial Association, and the Australian Peacekeeping Memorial Project; and • $7.5 million to double the amount available under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program to $100,000 per electorate.

The $25.0 million of additional funding in response to recommendations put forward in the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board’s Report to Government includes:

• $10.0 million in seed funding for an interactive large-scale travelling exhibition which will visit local towns and communities and help educate Australians about our proud Anzac history; • $2.7 million in additional funding for the Albany convoy commemorative event, marking the moment the first convoy left Albany bound for Egypt and Gallipoli in 1914; • $2.7 million to assist in the preservation of HMAS AE2 and provide educational materials about the important role the submarine played in the Gallipoli campaign; • $2.5 million for ten hours of historical documentary programming to be produced by the ABC and Screen Australia to commemorate and raise awareness of the Anzac Centenary; and • $7.2 million to fund: a wide-ranging education and research program which includes scholarships and history grants; the development of publically accessible material from over 2,000 interviews with veterans from all conflicts since the First World War; and the digitisation of a sample of First World War repatriation records of the servicemen and servicewomen who set sail from Albany on the first convoy.

“This funding will deliver more than just support and services to the nation’s most deserving group. It will ensure their legacy lives on and their sacrifices and efforts are never forgotten,” Mr Snowdon said.

For more information on the 2013-14 Federal Budget, visit www.budget.gov.au

Media inquiries: Minister Snowdon: 02 6277 7820
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046.