Patron: Commander 3rd Brigade, Brigadier David McCammon DSM and Bar
Homebase for the Veteran Community in Townsville
1 Staging Camp Ave, Oonoonba. Drop-in M-F 0900-1500, after hours upon booking. Dirty Boots Cafe M-F 0730-1400. All closed on W/E and public holidays, unless booked.
[for navigation apps you may have better luck with 20 Darter Street, Oonoonba until actual is recognised on all platforms]
Veteran Community News
Issues of interest to the veteran community in Townsville are included below, the most recent on top. These are some of the main sources of the News.
Vetaffairs Online (DVA’s official newspaper for Australia’s veteran community)
Veterans’ Legislation Reform Pathway Consultation - Webinars
18 Apr 2023
The public consultation on a pathway to simplify veteran compensation and rehabilitation legislation is going digital, with community members now invited to participate in webinar sessions.
These webinars will provide a wider opportunity to learn more about the proposed future model for veteran legislation from experts in the Department, ask questions and provide feedback.
We have a number of webinars, tailored to specific veteran interest groups.
General veteran community webinar, 6:30 – 7:30pm AEST Wednesday 26 April 2023
Current serving member webinar, 6:30 – 7:30pm AEST Thursday 27 April 2023
Advocate webinar, 6:30 – 7:30pm AEST Tuesday 2 May 2023
General veteran community webinar, 6:30 – 7:30pm AEST Thursday 4 May 2023.
Register online to attend a webinar through the DVA website. We encourage you to share these webinar dates with your networks.
New laws boost protections for people to engage with the Royal Commission
13 Apr 2023
The Royal Commissions Amendment (Enhancing Engagement) Bill 2023, which passed Federal Parliament late last month and was enacted today, further strengthens protections for serving and ex-serving ADF members who wish to safely share their stories with the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide. The legislative changes were made in response to a key recommendation of the Royal Commission’s Interim Report released last August.
The new confidentiality protections ensure sensitive information provided to the Royal Commission – such as confidential written statements, verbal accounts or information shared with a Royal Commission staff member – is treated in the same way as information disclosed during private sessions. For example, information covered by these protections: won’t be admissible in civil or criminal proceedings against a person; the unauthorised disclosure of sensitive information will be a criminal offence; and all information will be kept confidential for 99 years after it is provided; and prohibitions extend to Freedom of Information requests and subpoenas for information.
The improved protections will also apply to information already shared with the Royal Commission.
Better Access to Information for ADF Personnel and ex-serving Veterans
4 Apr 2023
Changes have been made to improve information access from the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), veterans and their families.
This includes the establishment of Information Access Units within the Department of Defence and DVA, additional education material on the information access process, how and why redactions occur, and updates to both Departments’ websites.
Veteran Chaplaincy Program Pilot
3 Apr 2023
The Pilot Program will continue until 30 June 2024 with evaluation and consideration regarding next steps as part of the Pilot.
The program aims to deliver on the following objectives:
Facilitate access to spiritual health support and other DVA support programs.
Provide pastoral care, mentoring and education through transition and into civilian life.
Provide pastoral care and spiritual health support during crisis, high intensity or acute events, in particular supporting adjustment, grief, and recovery.
Pilot program extending legal support for Queensland veterans
24 Mar 2023
More than 160 legal assistance services have been provided to these clients, including 62 legal advices, 19 legal tasks and six Court/Tribunal representation services.
The program is accessible through The Oasis Townsville, a community hub providing a safe space for people with shared experiences to connect with each other and the wider community. Outreach services are also available to Cairns and Mackay.
Simplifying Veterans Legislative Framework
17 Feb 2023
THE HON MATT KEOGH MP
MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS
MINISTER FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL
16 February 2023
VETERANS’ LEGISLATION REFORM CONSULTATION PATHWAY TAKES SHAPE
Today the Albanese Government has taken the next step in responding to the recommendations of the Interim Report by the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide by commencing public consultation on a Pathway to simplify veteran compensation and rehabilitation legislation.
In September 2022 the Albanese Government accepted Recommendation 1 of the Interim Report, agreeing there was an urgent need to simplify the existing legislation.
The proposed pathway to simplify the Veterans’ legislation will be available from today for public consultation.
The proposed pathway seeks to reform more than a century of veterans’ entitlement legislation, providing veterans the support they not only need, but deserve.
The Pathway for consultation anticipates:
New claims under existing schemes will cease after a transition period, from which point all new veteran claims will be dealt with under an improved Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA) as the sole ongoing Act. The MRCA currently services the majority of claims.
All benefits under existing schemes will continue unaffected, with only new claims or claims relating to deteriorated conditions to instead be covered by the single ongoing Act.
The consultation process will inform the way forward for government to simplify veterans’ legislation.
The Albanese Government is committed to a thorough and considered process which will deliver a better future for veterans and their families.
DVA services during the holiday season
10 Dec 2022
DVA will continue to provide support to veterans and their families during the holiday season. However, please be aware that some services will be impacted.
Check the link for details.
Providing more options for older Australians and eligible Veterans to work more in time for Christmas
1 Dec 2022
From today, pensioners over Age Pension age and eligible Veterans will be able to earn more income from working without reducing their pension, just in time to take advantage of seasonal jobs.
Eligible Australians would have the opportunity to engage in the workforce if they chose to do so at a time of workforce shortages without losing any of their income support payments.
Veterans’ and Families’ Hub Expansion - Information Sessions (Now there are 16)
19 Nov 2022
As part of the Federal Budget, the Australian Government is investing $46.7 million in eight new Veterans’ and Families’ Hubs across the country to provide essential services to veterans and families in areas with significant Defence and veteran communities.
This is in addition to the six hubs funded by the Federal Government, including investment in The Oasis Townsville. And the commitment to two further investments in Southeast Queensland and Tasmania made before the Federal Budget.
That makes 16 Veterans'and Families'Hubs on the way.
ADF Employment Offer Modernisation Program - Update at 17 Nov 2022
18 Nov 2022
Today the ADF Employment Offer Modernisation Program (ADF EOMP) released its suite of communication products for the upcoming initiatives under the Program. The purpose of this stage of communication is to inform members of key changes that will be implemented from May – July 2023. More detailed communication, including briefing sessions, will occur in Q1 and 2, 2023.
Background to the program:
To attract and retain the ADF workforce needed to deliver our mission, we need a modern and competitive ADF employment offer.
In 2019, Defence commenced the ADF EOMP to ensure a contemporary and competitive employment offer.
Important changes to housing, leave and military salary have already been achieved under tranche one of the ADF EOMP.
The next suite of initiatives will be implemented by 1 July 2023. These include:
New allowance framework (effective 25 May 2023).
New Categorisation and Location frameworks (effective 1 July 2023).
Additional 5 days Basic Recreation Leave (effective 1 July 2023).
To support any potential impacts from ADF EOMP initiatives, the trained force permanent salary rates will be increased by $2,000. Accordingly, the Reserve daily rates will increase by approximately $5.48 a day ($2,000 pro-rata). Trainee salary rates will also increase by a pro-rata amount of the trained force salary rate. This salary increase will be reflected in members’ pay from 8 June 2023.
Defence is committed to contemporising the ADF remuneration and conditions of service benefits to better support the needs of current and future ADF members and their families.
There is more information, including the CDF’s letter to the ADF workforce and several factsheets on the pay and conditions website.