Labor will work to ease the Administrative Burden on Ex-Service Personnel - 30 Jun 2007

ALAN GRIFFIN, MP

Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Alan Griffin, the Shadow Minister for Veteransí Affairs, announced today at the West Australian RSL Congress that a Rudd Labor Government will establish an Interdepartmental Working Group to examine ways to rationalise the administrative burden on Veterans or ex-service personnel who have to deal with multiple agencies.

Currently Veterans, ex service personnel and their families have to deal with the Department of Veteranís Affairs, Centrelink, the Defence Force's Retirement and Death Benefits Authority, Comsuper and the Department of Defence to obtain their entitlements, compensation or income support package.

This can cause a lot of confusion and stress among those that are dealing with multiple agencies. Too often members of the ex-service community and their families have to engage in overly burdensome administrative procedures repeatedly because they are dealing with different agencies.

Improved record sharing, understanding and cooperation between these agencies could significantly cut the time taken to process an individualís full entitlements and alleviate them of the stress of having to engage in excessive administrative processes.

The working group will be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Veteransí Affairs. It will also comprise representatives from all the other relevant agencies and the ex service community.

The working group will be expected to report back to the Minister within eighteen months of its formation with a series of recommendations designed to rationalise and improve the administration of benefits and entitlements for veterans, service personnel and their families.

This commitment will be funded from existing Departmental resources.