CANNING MHR Andrew Hastie hosted Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan at a barbecue and Q and A session for local veterans at the North Dandalup Tavern.
As well as answering questions, Mr Tehan briefed about 40 veterans on the $350 million package announced as part of the 2017-18 Budget, and called it a significant increase in funding.
Mr Tehan said the Government was focused on responding to the mental health needs of former ADF personnel and providing support that would help them achieve a fulfilling post-service life.
“In last year’s Budget, we made treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and drug and alcohol misuse free for anyone who had served a day in the full-time ADF,’’ he said.
“The $33.5 million expansion of the non-liability health care program to cover all mental health conditions announced in the budget recognises that the earlier a veteran gets treatment, the better the health and other outcomes.
“Importantly, a veteran does not have to prove their mental health condition is related to their service.
“Funding for mental health treatment is demand-driven and not capped; if an eligible person requires treatment, it will be paid for.’’
Additional Budget Measures include:
– $133.1 million for Gold Cards for surviving participants of the British Nuclear Testing program and the British Commonwealth Occupation Force
– $8.5 million to expand eligibility for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
– $9.8 million to pilot new approaches to suicide prevention and improve care and support available to veterans
– $2.7 million for the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program,
– $166.6 million to implement the first stage of Veteran Centric Reform
– $18 million as part of the Government’s Energy for the Future Package
– $9 million for accelerated access to rehabilitation services, streamlined access to Incapacity Payments, and improved access to the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated disability pension for veterans working past the age of 65
– $1.2 million to continue the income support bonus for DVA clients receiving an Education Allowance under either the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme
– $5 million to develop a first pass business case for the Australian War Memorial