WHILE Stirling MHR Michael Keenan is to be commended for his sentiments, as expressed in last week’s edition article headlined ‘Donations encouraged to support service personnel’, I would encourage him, as a Federal member, to set the example by doing more.
For example, in a time of foreshadowed budget cuts, there is no indication from the Federal Government that the Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs will be immune from them.
That will be to the detriment of Australia’s serving defence forces, or the veterans.
Mr Keenan could give an undertaking, or advocate, while encouraging his parliamentary colleagues to join him, that the serving members of the Australian Defence Force, especially those deployed on operational service, plus those affected veterans, be exempt from any budget cuts, especially regarding health issues emanating from operational service.
Another means whereby Mr Keenan could assist ADF serving members and veterans is to advocate that the income support bonus, as paid for their children’s education, is quarantined.
I believe the best way to pay homage to the fallen is to look after the interests of the living.
Given that the Federal Government 2009 structural increase to all pensions and compensation excluded veterans and disabled veterans, then the veterans are right to demand an assurance from the Government that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will suffer no cutbacks in this forthcoming budget.