Update 19 – Awareness Growing

7 Jun 2012



Issue # 19 Dated: 30 May 2012

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In breaking news, we have just learned that Greg Carey will interview Pete Criss in the 4BC Studio after 11.00 am on Thursday 31 May. Please pass the message widely through your networks and listen to the interview. We understand that Greg may take calls during the interview, so you will have the opportunity to put a question or make a comment directly to Pete and Greg.

It is important that we light up the 4BC switchboard with calls to show our support, and leave blog comments after the interview is posted to the 4BC website.

You can listen to 4BC here 

The number to call is: 13 13 32 (if calling within the Brisbane area) or 07 3908 8800

The 4BC website is: http://www.4bc.com.au/

Operation AWARE has succeeded in raising our indexation issues (both military superannuation pensions and disability pensions) beyond our own Defence Family into the Australian public. In political speak, oxygen has been given and traction achieved.

All we want is restoration of our indexation entitlements, those we signed on for and have not been delivered as promised. That is a breach of contract.

At no stage has the Government answered that charge. Instead they present the case that the nation cannot afford the cost and present data whose accuracy we challenge: its sources, assumptions and financial figures. Why wont they reveal them?

Can We Trust The Governments Costs? NO! 



Operation AWARE was a series of coordinated public awareness activities between 5 -15 April 2012 using our Local Action Groups (LAGs) around Australia, supported with radio, TV and print media exposure, print media advertising and simultaneous viral distribution of campaign material through social media.

Its primary aim, to increase public awareness and support for the Fair Go Campaigns objectives by appealing directly to the Australian people in selected major population centres and indirectly media awareness and interest, was achieved. Its secondary purpose, to further demonstrate our resolve and our capacity for well-coordinated Campaign action to Government ministers and Federal politicians of all political parties, was also achieved.

Our public awareness campaign is continuous with social media videos, media print articles and radio interviews. Operation AWARE built on those activities in a more concentrated way to deliver maximum impact at a time of heightened public interest in military affairs – pre ANZAC Day.

The Operation was in keeping with ADSOs Fair Go Campaign strategy which includes:

>   taking the campaign directly to the Australian people by increasing awareness through all forms of media, through flyers and through community meetings;

>   conducting public activities around significant calendar days/events; and

>   creating effective Local Action Group (LAGs) activities involving our supporters at the grass roots Federal electorate level, especially in the marginal seats.


The Operations launch date was brought forward to 2 April 2012 to take advantage of an opportunity for the 4BC radio interview with Peter Criss

The following day, The Honourable Thing video (Youtube), developed by Ray Martin (our Townsville Herbert Local Action Group leader), was sent to all Federal Parliamentarians ahead of a public (viral) release a few days later. Viral launch of the ANZAC (Veteran theme) flyer followed, with distribution through the ADSO and other ESO networks.


During the Operation:

Approximately 12000 flyers were physically distributed in major population centres around Australia including:

o   QLD: Cairns, Townsville, Ipswich, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast
o   NSW: Sydney and surrounds, Port Macquarie,
o   ACT/NSW: Canberra, Batemans Bay, Queanbeyan,
o   VIC: Albury/Wodonga, Melbourne, Geelong,
o   SA: Adelaide,
o   WA: Perth, Freemantle and surrounds.

Specific targeted areas included the electorates of The Treasurer Wayne Swan (Lilley), Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Lalor), State Senators electorate office localities, and several marginal MPs.

In addition to residential letterbox drops, many businesses were supportive by displaying the flyers in their shopfronts/premises. These businesses included shopping centres, newsagents, supermarkets, butchers and professional offices. In Canberra, public sporting venues and Bus Stations were targeted, and in Sydney, flyers were distributed at the Town Hall Railway Station. Social Clubs and some RSL sub-branches were also supportive in displaying flyers.

  • Local Action Groups (LAGs) and other Fair Go supporters wrote many supportive letters to editors of major daily and regional/local newspapers and more than 20 letters were published up to the end of April.

  • A total of 11 articles/OPED pieces were published, mostly in local/regional papers, although the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian published good articles.

  • The Operation generated two editorials in local/regional Press.

  • Op AWARE display ads appeared in two regional press publications, the Northern Services Courier Townsville (full page flyer) and City West Magazine Ipswich (quarter page flyer).

  • A well-timed initiative by Bert Hoebee and Peter Criss to seek assistance from Gina Rinehart resulted in TV coverage with Channel 10 interviews: Peter Criss on the Breakfast Show on two occasions and a follow-up interview on the same program with Senator Ronaldson (Lib). Channel 10 Evening News (hyperlink) also covered the issue on one occasion.

  • Major General Jim Molan appeared on the Channel 9 Sunday Program on two occasions where he promoted the indexation issue, and Barney Ward was interviewed on NBN Evening News.

  • Following on from the Gina Rinehart initiative, a Statement of Support for fair indexation with the names of 40 Australians, including many prominent figures from the corporate sector and three ex-Service Chiefs, was distributed. This triggered further good media coverage.

  • Radio coverage of Op AWARE comprised:

    4BC Brisbane: Two Greg Carey interviews with Peter Criss, an interview with Tony Abbott, an interview with Senator Ronaldson, and a further raising of the issue by Greg Carey on ANZAC Day;

    2UE Sydney: A Jason Morrison interview with Peter Criss (hyperlink);

    ABC AM: An interview with Peter Criss (hyperlink);

    3AW Melbourne News: Comments by Peter Criss on the indexation issue;

    6PR Perth: A Howard Sattler interview with Peter Criss (hyperlink)which also included live on air comments from Labor Government Minister Gary Gray;

    2SM Sydney & Regional Networks (NSW and Southern QLD): A lengthy 25 minute interview of Peter Criss by John Carroll (hyperlink)

All interviews were immediately followed with supportive talk-back calls, and where possible, many supportive BLOG comments were added to radio station web pages. Almost all of the media coverage can be accessed at www.adso.org.au

Over a three week period (which included the Easter Break and a lull in activity around ANZAC Day), the Operation generated:

  • In excess of 9000 hits on The Honourable Thing Youtube Video;

  • Major viral distribution of the Op Flyer nationally using email networks and facebook and social media outlets.

  • Physical distribution of 12000+ flyers and public display of more than 90 posters/flyers in selected major population centres;

  • More than 30 print media articles/letters etc;

  • 10 major Radio events;

  • Seven national and regional TV events.

TV and radio coverage was critical to the operations success. Much of the other media attention flowed from those initial TV and radio interviews. In almost all cases, electronic media coverage resulted from personal contacts and relationships that had been either directly or indirectly developed over a period of time. So supporters if you have media contacts then please share them with us.


There can be no doubt that Operation AWARE achieved its stated aims of significantly increasing public awareness and sending a  loud and clear message to all Parliamentarians that ADSO is capable of conducting nationally coordinated action plans and will STAND FAST in its resolve to achieve its objective.

Our experience has provided many valuable lessons for future application. This operation was a dress rehearsal for bigger and better ones to follow.

The Operations success owes much to the incredible hard work and commitment of our dedicated group of outstanding supporters who more than pulled their weight when needed most. Among this group we pay special tribute to all STAG leaders, individual LAGS and other independent supporters who willingly volunteered their support in response to our call for help. We acknowledge the special contribution of Jim Molan, Ray Martin, and the untiring efforts of Bert Hoebee, Peter Thornton, Alf Jaugietis.  Finally, a special thanks to Peter Criss for his brilliant job in selling our Campaigns message across all forms of media, but particularly radio and TV and his ready willingness to do whatever we asked of him, at times, under trying circumstances.

Ray Gibson, Leader – Operation AWARE

Editors Note. Ray Gibsons leadership of Operation AWARE deserves special mention. Code Named Night Owl for obvious reasons, his doggedness, persistence and versatility made the operation a success. Thank you Blue Leader… and his wife Sarah.


Rob Oakeshotts (Ind) continues his efforts to support our Campaign with his second Notice of Motion to the House of Representatives. This motion differs from his previous one (24 May 2010) by naming all military superannuation schemes. It is seconded by another independent MP Tony Windsor (New England): the earlier motion was seconded by Bob Katter.

Note that it is a Notice of Motion and NOT a Members Bill. If the Motion is supported by the Coalition and Independents and PASSED it becomes a challenge for the Government and opens up other potential opportunities for us.

On behalf of the 64,000 Australians unfairly affected by having their military superannuation pensions continue losing purchasing power and therefore continual erosion in their standard of living, we thank Rob Oakeshott for his support.

We eagerly await the Motion being debated in the House of Representatives.


Past Liberal Party SA Senator and former Finance Minister of the Howard Government, Nick Minchin continues to voice his personal opposition to fair military superannuation indexation in his letter to The Australian Editor (3 May) and again in an interview on the ABC TV SAs 7.30 Report – Super Wars (25 May )

In doing so he is out of step with the Coalitions policy of support for it.

Read our rebuttal letter, Nick Minchin off the Mark about Indexation of Military Superannuation Pensions.  “For a former Finance Minister to peddle such inaccurate nonsense highlights a lack of intellectual application on a subject he should be well across.”

We are puzzled by Minchins actions but conclude he has reacted to the Coalition Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Michael Ronaldsons recent public acknowledgement that on this matter the Howard Government “got it wrong.”

Read both the published response Letters to the Editor and unpublished ones here 


In this Adelaide program and also screened in Queensland and the Northern Territory military superannuation remained in the spotlight with supporting comments for restoration of purchasing power from Tim Hanna (RSL SA State Branch President elect) and anti comments from Nick Minchin.  Nick Xenophon proposes to ask the Senate Enquiry in mid June to recommend that the Auditor General rule on the costs.

Here again is another example of the core issue – a breach of contract – being ignored for a consideration of costs. If the military was represented by a Union then one would expect the breach of contract matter to have been resolved by the Government years ago.

Interestingly those critics opposing fair indexation continue to play the cost factor without specific reference to the:

  • accepted unique nature of the military profession

  • Futures Fund, and

  • Completeness and accuracy of all the relevant financial data presented by the Government.


President of The TPI Federation David Catteralls, letter and submission (22 April 2012) to the Prime Minister calls for restoration of a fair go for all military disability pensioners.

The Federations aim is to ensure that relevant entitlements, obligations, relativity and recognised community standards of fairness and equity owed to DVA disability pension recipients (over 120,000) must not be eroded.

We are disappointed that the Government in its 2012-13 Budget ignored the opportunity to increase the Veteran Disability Pension which was excluded from the pension improvements included in the 2009 budget.


We welcomed the Governments 2012-13 Budget response to the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements and its $17.4 million commitment over the next four years to implement 96 of its 108 recommendations.

Read Minister Snowdons announcement, Improving Our Military Rehabilitation and Compensation



The CDF & the Service Chiefs have determined that there is no material difference between the DECA  (Defence civilian employees) & WRA (ADF uniform staff) outcomes and will not be seeking the Defence Force  Remuneration Tribunal (DFRT) to review its determination in regards to the WRA.

DFWA disagrees with this no material difference comparison of the DECA & WRA, because.

  • The current DECA & WRA determinations have occurred in unique and extraordinary circumstances – not least because 62% of ADF members did not support the WRA case presented to the DFRT on their behalf by CDF!

  • There are significant differences between the provisions of the DECA & WRA and thus the outcomes.

  • These differences represent material disadvantage to ADF members.

  • These differences if applied to the WRA would generate significant and material extra dollars to ADF members.

DFWA intends to seek a review of the CDF & Service Chiefs position and failing any appropriate better outcome for ADF members to request the DFRT to reconvene the ADF WRA Case 9/2011. Read more about the financial comparison.

This is an opportunity for you and your ADF colleagues to express support for the DFWA position in this matter by email to  [email protected]   – Subject:  Support DFWA DECA / WRA Position.  The more support we receive the stronger is the DFWA voice.


A few critics of the Fair Go Campaign say that the vast majority of military superannuation pension recipients will receive nothing from a change to indexation, because those also in receipt of a Commonwealth income support pension (ISP=Age pension or Service pension) with their supporting benefit cards (Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) or DVA Concession Card) will have those ISPs reduced and risk the loss of their supporting benefit cards.

Read our response to that criticism here

AUSTRALIAN SOLDIERS RIPPED OFF BY GOVERNMENT – YouTube. Published on May 20, 2012 by Shaun Greenwood

Australian soldiers were promised a pension that would allow them to live comfortably when they retire. Then the government changed the rules and ripped them off. Watch it here and see statements made by Rear Admiral Ken Doolan, RSL National President, Don Rowe, RSL NSW State President, our own Neil Weekes and others


We need your help in a number of ways.

  1. As a SUBSCRIBER  to be kept informed of progress. If you are already a subscriber then encourage your family and friends to join us. If you are receiving our Updates through your Association then join us to receive our personal messages direct.

  2. As a DONOR  to fund the Campaigns activities.

  3. As a VOLUNTEER to join your Local Electorate Action Group to promote the Campaign to the community and/or to join our Advisory Groups contributing your specialist knowledge and skill. We need advisors with practising experience in the superannuation, media, investigative journalism and constitutional law fields.

Dont forget to buy a Bumper Sticker and carry the message wherever your car goes.


From the “Fair Go!” Team

Campaign Directors: Ted Chitham , Ray Gibson 

Campaign National Spokesperson: David Jamison 

Stay current with the Campaign at www.adso.org.au