ADSO – Who? Why? What? Results?

23 Sep 2015

ADSO 23Jun15

Who We Are

The Alliance (ADSO) was established in 2010 to provide a structure for cooperation between service and ex-service organisations, to address issues of mutual interest and benefit to the defence, ex-service and veteran communities.

Member organisations of the Alliance acknowledge that although they represent different constituencies, many of the matters dealt with by each have elements common to other ESOs and that there is benefit to each by collaborating on these. ADSO thus provides a mechanism to more effectively represent issues to governments and the general public.

Notwithstanding the desire of ADSO organisations to cooperate closely together, membership is not intended to impinge on the independence of member organisations and their right to pursue their own objectives as they see fit.

Why We Exist

The Alliance exists to provide a structure for cooperation, to address issues of mutual interest and benefit to the defence, ex-service and veteran communities. This unity of purpose and action provides for greater influence in our representations to the Parliament, Government and Federal Officials.

Our major functions are to:

1. Improve communication, cooperation and collaboration between ADSO member organisations;

2. Gain mutual advantage from the differing of expertise of each organisation;

3. Ensure for each issue being pursued, the appropriate organisation is identified as the “lead organisation” for coordination of the actions undertaken by the Alliance and its partners; and

4. Help spread the workload and ensure the resources of the Alliance member organisations are used to produce the most effective result.

What We Do

ADSO makes representation at the National and State levels to promote improved conditions of service and to protect those entitlements already achieved. It also promotes the well being of defence families.

ADSO is non partisan: it does not support any political party. Because of this non partisan approach and also the quality of representations made, we have gained the respect of parliamentarians across the board as well from ADF Senior Commanders and Federal Officials.

Most members of ADSO are represented at the Ex-Service Round Table (a DVA national consultative body). DFWA and RARC are also represented at the RSL National Defence Personnel & Families Committee.

DFWA is a recognised “intervener” before the Defence Forces Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) and is the employee representative on the Government Skills Public Safety Industry Advisory Committee.

In support of its objectives The Alliance has created a powerful and effective national Action Group organisation (Fair Go Campaign) that openly engages all Parliamentarians and Political Parties from the top down in Canberra and bottom up in most federal electorates.

It is at the grass root level in the electorates where we engage with the Local Federal member and the community to promote our issues. This strategy is proving successful.

What We Have Achieved

 Military Superannuation Pension indexation formula increased for DFRB/DFRDB superannuation pension recipients over 55 to maintain purchasing power.

 Protection of personal information held by the National Archives: The Administrative Appeals Tribunal upheld a National Archive decision to restrict the release of information from the personal records of former ADF members. This means that previously releasable personal data that should remain private will be exempt from automatic release to members of the general public. This decision follows strong representation after the Defence Force Welfare Association was alerted to the release of private information on one of its members that caused personal hurt and anguish to himself and his close family members.

 The Government has reversed its insistence that to gain a 1.5% pay increase, ADF members had to give up a number of service conditions. This was followed by an offer of an additional 0.5% increase per year giving ADF members an annual increase of 2% for the remaining period of the current Workplace Remuneration Arrangement.

 Restoration of tax exclusion for wounded soldiers.

 Restoration of remote location leave travel entitlements for ADF members removed as a cost saving.

 Reversal of the decision to reduce the regular indexation of Veterans Disability, Service and War Widows Pensions.

 Retention of the Defence Housing Authority as an entity solely focussed on providing housing for ADF personnel rather than being sold off as commercial concern with a profit motive.

 Acceptance by the Government of our recommendations to improve and protect service benefits in the ADF Super Legislation to be introduced in July 2016.

What We Are Still Working On

? DFRDB Superannuation indexation; removal of the exclusion of under 55 years from fair indexation.

? MSBS superannuation;
  o Removal of MBLs.
  o Full portability (employer & employee component) if member elects to move to ADF Super.
  o Fair indexation for superannuation pensions and preserved (employer component) funds.

? Improved mental health support for ADF members and former members.

? More responsive garrison and specialist medical services.

? Benchmarking the SRDP element of the Veterans Disability Pension to the basic wage.

? Reinforcing the unique nature of military service with a Military Covenant/Accord.

? Reducing Veterans’ Homelessness.

? More effective support for ADF members transitioning to civilian life.

23 September 2015