Media Release – Labor Will End the Veterans’ Crisis

24 Apr 2022

An Albanese Labor Government will fix the crisis in Veterans’ Affairs and restore the respect our veterans and their families deserve.

Under this government, the backlog of unresolved claims for veterans’ support has blown out to 60,000. It took one of Mr Morrison’s own Ministers to threaten to resign over the issue before the Prime Minister even took any notice.

Day after day, the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide is hearing the devastating impact this failure is having on veterans and their families. 

This is a national disgrace which must be addressed.

Today Labor is announcing a $519.2 million plan to repair a decade of damage and neglect, and strengthen the services veterans and their families count on.

Labor’s plan includes: 

  • Cutting Waiting Times by Boosting Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Staffing $226.3 million for 500 frontline staff to cut waiting times and end the backlog of claims that is creating cruel and unnecessary stress in veteran families. Labor will also lift the staffing cap at DVA.
  • Delivering 10 new Veteran Hubs $42.9 million for 10 Veteran Hubs – one-stop shops where vets and their families can get help to access the services they need.
  • Boosting Defence home ownership $60.1 million for the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme, which Labor created and an Albanese Labor Government will expand.
  • Increasing the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Veterans Pension (TPI) $97.8 million for a $1,000 increase in the annual rate of TPI Payments for disabled veterans.
  • A Veteran Employment Program $24 million to educate businesses about the benefits of employing a veteran as well as extra civilian-ready training programs.
  • A Defence and Veteran Family Support Strategy Working with defence and veteran families to design better posting cycles, housing solutions and transition services.

These commitments are in addition to Labor’s already announced policies of $30 million for emergency housing for veterans experiencing homelessness, and $38.1 million for veteran-led disaster response organisation Disaster Relief Australia.

Quotes Attributable to Anthony Albanese, Labor Leader:

“The crisis in Veterans’ Affairs is a national disgrace.

“For so many of our veterans, the war does not end when they leave the battlefield. Just as they stepped up for us, we must step up for them.”

Quotes Attributable to Brendan O’Connor, Shadow Defence Minister:

“The ADF’s best asset are the men and women who serve it.

“They need to know that the respect and support they get during their service years doesn’t disappear the moment they transition to civilian life.

“Labor’s comprehensive package will allow our serving men and women today to focus on their jobs today knowing they don’t have to worry about tomorrow.”

Quotes Attributable to Shayne Neumann, Shadow Veterans Affairs and Defence Personnel Minister:

“As Minister Gee said only a few weeks ago, the Morrison Government blow out in claims processing times is a national disgrace.

“Defence personnel, veterans and their families feel disrespected and disregarded by this Prime Minster who only shows up when he needs something from them.”

Media Release Sunday, 24th April 2022 with Brendan O’Connor MP & Shayne Neumann MP