The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) is calling on the Australian Government to include measures in the 2024-25 Federal Budget to enable:
- Full implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide including the establishment of an appropriately funded and resourced National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Wellbeing.
- Funding for an independent business case to develop an ex-service organisation (ESO) Peak Body.
- Continuation of effort to permanently reduce the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) claims backlog.
- Improvements in the Advocacy Training and Development Program and a sustained lift in training content, delivery and support for veteran advocates.
- Better access to healthcare for veterans and their families, and greater veteran literacy across Australia’s healthcare systems.
“The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) is asking the Australian Government to make provisions in the 2024-25 Budget that better enable veterans to reach their full economic and social potential” said RSL Australia President Greg Melick.
“Almost one in twenty Australian families includes an individual who is currently or has previously served our nation,” he said.
"Veterans bring critical skills to our workplaces, and they volunteer in our communities in higher numbers than those who have never served. In recent times we have seen veteran volunteers respond to the devastating impacts of fires and floods across our nation, helping families, communities, and business to get back on their feet."
RSL Australia President Greg Melick
“Time after time veterans show-up and serve our nation when we need them.
“Year after year we see veteran volunteers respond to national emergencies, helping families, communities and business after the devastating impacts of natural disasters.”
The initiatives listed in the RSL’s submission highlight issues which have been evident to successive Australian Governments, identified in successive reports and inquiries and are once again being further evidenced by the current Royal Commission.
Greg Melick said while the Royal Commission’s Final Report would not be handed down until September, the Budget needs to provide for the implementation of all recommendations.
“The Government’s response to the final Royal Commission’s recommendations will be a test of its regard for and treatment of the Defence and veteran community,” he said.
“This forthcoming Budget provides the immediate opportunity for the Government to commence the process of strengthening the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families by including significant funding measures.
“Investing in the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families is a sound investment for all Australians and the RSL stands ready to support the Australian Government in better serving those who have served us,” Greg Melick said.
The RSL’s detailed pre-budget submission is available here.