The Voice of the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) in the fight for a FAIR GO for Australian Defence Personnel, Veterans & Families
UPDATE 28 – The Wheels are in motion
24 Apr 2013
UPDATE 28 – The Wheels are in Motion
Issue 28 Dated 23 April 2013
The momentum has increased rapidly since the PMs early March venture into Sydneys western suburbs where, after a media report of her snub to our veterans rally at Rooty Hill, she met with our rally Team (7th March) and promised to meet with ADSO leaders in Canberra. The Daily Telegraph followed up its earlier report with this comment from Miranda Devine.
Thanks to our Team of Bob Ihlein, Peter Thornton, Les Bienkiewicz, Vicki Chaney, Christine Dunn, Peter Hayes, Al Hind, Colin Alexander and Rod Giveen who were the front line “the tip of our iceberg” for our Fair Go Campaign.
Promised meeting with the PM
We are still waiting for a confirmed meeting date. Hopefully, the meeting is not to placate us but is a sincere effort to correct the injustices. Will it change the Governments current opposition to fair indexation? For a Government that prides itself on evidenced based decision making, we would expect a change of heart after we have had the opportunity to put all of the real facts directly to the PM in a face to face meeting.
If we find that we are being “led up the garden path” again, then it will be the final confirmation that the Government has failed us and we will take actions that we consider appropriate.
Mike Kelly will be part of the PMs Team because of his 2012 appointed task to consider the Matthews Report recommendation 4 and present any new proposal. Contrary to his public statements, ADSO has not been involved in working with him on the matter.
Means Testing Superannuation?
Previous suggestions from Labors pre-election documents in 2004 and 2007 identify that the proposed solution may include some form of means testing. We are adamantly opposed to any such attempt to further erode our service conditions entitlements by the inappropriate use of means testing.
Reminder – Each Partys Policies on the Issues – Calculate your Financial Loss
The Coalition, in Government has pledged to restore the promise for military superannuation pensions under the old schemes (DFRB/DFRDB) for those aged 55 and over. This is a first step forward. Other military superannuants will have to wait until the budgetary situation becomes clearer. On veterans disability pension parity they have agreed to discuss the matter after the election to determine the costs involved as the first step in addressing this issue.
So far, Labor remains opposed to any change to military superannuation pensions indexation or the restoration of veterans disability pension parity.
There are over 200,000 military persons directly affected by one or both issues:
• Restoration of our superannuation entitlement to an indexed payment that maintains its purchasing power with the same percentage increase and frequency as granted to Age Pensioners. Read our summary paper Military Superannuation Indexation – In a Nutshell. Then calculate your loss here
• Restoration of veterans disability pension indexation parity to that legislated in 2007 and removed in 2009. Read our summary paper Veterans Disability Pensions – The issue in a Nutshell. Then calculate your loss: SRDPs = $3,300 p.a., about $1,200 p.a for 100% General Rate and pro rata for lesser General Rate percentages.
Our Recent Activities
Our Action Groups have increased their presence and promotions in marginal and other electorates especially where the politicians are conducting community events. Community Cabinet Meetings
At the Perth meeting on 27 March , forty of ADSOs WA Team and WA TPI pensioners rallied successfully to voice our superannuation and veterans disability pension issues. This was supported by 6 PRs Howard Sattlers interview of Richard Usher, ADSOs WA Leader, at the site.
At the Melbourne (Ringwood) meeting on 17 April we had a strong rally presence especially on the veterans disability pension matter. Inside the meeting, David Jamison meet with the Defence Minister Stephen Smith to discuss our issues and reaffirmed with the PM her intention to meet with us. We will continue our rallies at such events in other States. See the event details here
Defence Community Forums
The Shadow DVA Minister, Sen. Michael Ronaldson, conducts these forums in all States. We are present in strength to hear the Coalitions policies as they affect the military and to have our say. We may not all agree with his Partys policies but we do have the opportunity to challenge and to influence them and others being developed.
Since our Rooty Hill rally in March, the medias interest has been aroused. News Limiteds Daily Telegraph and Fairfax Media Radio network 4BC, 2UE and 6 PR and Macquarie Networks 2 GB have taken an active interest in following the action and eager to report the outcome of the meeting with the PM.
Pete Criss continues his insightful commentary on radio often at very short notice. You can follow Pete from the Newsflashes that are posted on our website. If you miss the interview then listen to it on the podcast at the same site and then leave a comment or click the “like” icon. Listen to past interviews here
To widen our superannuation issue to the Australian people we will petition the PM through www.change.org This is the same media used by Avril Clarke to successfully petition the War Memorial Council to recognise her son and other fallen peacekeepers equally. More on this to come soon.
Our new flyer (Image – Fix Military Superannuation NOW!)
Use it for distribution to your network, especially facebook. See all our flyers here
Snakes & Ladders – Election Version
For some light entertainment play our superannuation election version. Challenge your local MP to a game
The Adso website
Make the most it for information and to have your say: write a blog, article and or a comment of your own or on what others have written. Watch the Latest Video – The Adso Website Overview. It helps you navigate the site and shows how to maximise your use of it. To keep current with the Campaign, visit it regularly. And do pass the articles, videos, flyers, radio interviews and press clippings to your family and friends via your own network especially on social media.
Rebuttal of Governments Letters
Many of us have written to our MP and /or Government Minister about unfair superannuation indexation only to receive a standard reply from the relevant Minister that denies unfair indexation and proffers how generous it is.
Well here is the Governments latest letter and our detailed rebuttal of it. Use it when replying to such letters or correcting any person that uses the same arguments against fair indexation.
Call to Action – Its Time to Stand Up and Advance to Contact
Until Parliament resumes on 14 May for the Budget announcement, when the Government reveals what plans, if any, it has to satisfy our objectives, we have a great opportunity to engage our local MP on our issues. We need to make them aware that our issues for the election can no longer be ignored.
All politicians, especially those in the marginal seats, will be sensitive to the issues affecting their electorates. We want YOU to contact your local MP by any means and tell him/her the issues that concern you and the solutions you want.
Join with your local ADSO Action Group or if you prefer, act independently to remind the MPs in the marginal electorates (view the Graphic: Labors death row) MPs (less than 6%) of our voting influence with the fact that we have more aggrieved military and commonwealth superannuants and veteran disability pensioners than their marginal number. In 44 of the 150 Federal Electorates individuals on military and commonwealth superannuation benefits schemes (mcsbs) exceed the margin, in some cases by as much as double. For example in Michelle Rowlands (ALP) seat of Greenway NSW, there are 92256 registered electors of whom 4305 (4.67 per cent of the electorate) are mcsbs recipients: with her margin of 0.90% (830) votes, our 4305 number could have a major influence on the result in the Federal Election. 4305 does not include Veterans Disability Pensioners data.
Make a Donation – Dig Deep Diggers
We have the will to fight to restore our rights but we need your donations to help us do it effectively. That means having a war chest of money available to: • promote the campaign with targeted, ads (all media) , flyers, handouts, videos and other material to targeted groups; • mobilise our defence family and the public as supporters; • lobby the Parliament and political parties; • obtain professional advice and where appropriate • fund legal actions. THANK YOU to all who have previously donated and an anticipatory THANK YOU to all who are about to donate what you can afford. Dig deep diggers.Donate here
On this iconic day, Australians commemorate those who served our nation in uniform and particularly those who died. In doing so, we recognise the Anzac spirit forged during the First World War at Gallipoli and the Western Front and reinforced in subsequent wars.
Charles Bean popularised the Anzac spirit with these words, “Anzac stood, and still stands, for reckless valor in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat.” That spirit lives on with us in peace time.
“Honour the dead but fight like hell for the living” is The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAAs) motto which ADSOs Fair Go Campaign fervently supports. Lets show the Government, the Parliament and all Australians that we are prepared to fight for our defence familys rights.
On Anzac Day wherever you gather together socially with fellow warriors and family, over a beer or around the BBQ, to recall service memories please include a comment on what the Fair Go Campaign is doing to support the defence family and encourage your mates to join us here