Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Media Release on behalf of Minister for Veterans' Affairs

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Deputy Commissioner in Queensland, Alison Stanley, today encouraged veterans affected by the floods in Queensland to contact the Department for information on how to access support and services.

Ms Stanley said the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) was available to support veterans and their families affected by the disaster.

“The extensive and prolonged flooding across Queensland has affected the lives and property of many Queenslanders including veterans and their families. Many in the veteran community rely on DVA for advice and for those in need there is immediate support available,” Ms Stanley said.

People receiving DVA payments and concerned about those payments should call the Department to discuss their circumstances. Regional callers can ring 1800 555 254, for the price of a local call.

Veterans who have their property insured with Defence Service Homes Insurance and whose property has been affected by the floods are encouraged to contact their local customer service officer on 1300 552 662 to discuss the assistance available under their policy. Many policy holders, particularly in the Ingham area, are yet to return to their properties and customer service officers expect to receive calls after the flood waters finally recede.

DVA has a Veterans’ Affairs Network office in Townsville and veterans can call 1300 55 1918 to contact this office or alternatively DVA has an agency arrangement with Centrelink in Cairns. Their number is 4048 8930.

The VVCS - Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service is available to assist veterans and their families in crisis situations and provides supportive, confidential counselling to veterans and their families who need support. The VVCS can be contacted on 1800 011 046, 24 hours a day.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for people affected by the North Queensland Floods is being administered by Centrelink. Affected persons, including DVA pensioners, should phone 180 2222 or visit their nearest Centrelink Customer Service Centre or Centrelink Agent.

MEDIA INQUIRIES: DVA Media on 02 6289 6203

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