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Abbott late to the party on policy for ADF families

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Campaign Media Release

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon

Candidate for Solomon Luke Gosling


Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon said Tony Abbott was trying to pass off a Federal Labor program, that has already been announced, as new Coalition policy.

“Mr Abbott’s policy, leaked to the NT News overnight, is lifted entirely from the Federal Labor policy and a rehash of an initiative which I announced a week ago,” Minister Snowdon said.

“It’s disrespectful to Defence personnel that Tony Abbott’s Coalition think they can simply co-opt Federal Labor policy and re-announce it as their own idea.

“Mr Abbott is trying to hoodwink Defence families. Federal Labor already announced support for the families of ADF personnel to cover their out of pocket medical expenses from 1 January 2014.

“In the Northern Territory, the trial of this scheme has been operating since 2009.”

Federal Labor’s National ADF Family Health program will benefit approximately 71,000 ADF dependents who will be eligible for assistance under the program.

“A contract worth up to $103.6 million has already been signed with Navy Health Ltd to deliver the program over three and half years - a fact I announced last week on 16 August,” Minister Snowdon said.

“Mr Abbott is way behind on his homework, seeking to sell a policy which has been announced and implemented in the Northern Territory as his own.”

The National ADF Family Health trial has been operating in a number of regional centres since May 2009, including:  New South Wales (Singleton).

 Queensland (Cairns, Mt Isa, Thursday Island, Townsville and Weipa).  Northern Territory (Alice Springs, Darwin, Katherine and Nhulunbuy).  Victoria (Puckapunyal and Sale).  Western Australia (Broome, Carnarvon, Derby, Exmouth, Karratha,

Kununurra, Newman, Port Hedland and Tom Price).

Candidate for Solomon Luke Gosling said Mr Abbott clearly was not on top of announcements and developments in this policy area. The Coalition’s media monitoring have let them down with news of Federal Labor’s announcement published in Darwin in the NT News on 17 August 2013.

“To try and sell the exact same policy that Federal Labor has already announced shows Mr Abbott thinks he can take the ADF and the Australian public for fools,” Mr Gosling said.

“The men and women of Australia’s Defence Force know this commitment has been delivered and the contract has been signed. Mr Abbott is late to the party when it comes to support for Defence families,” Mr Gosling said.

23 AUGUST 2013

Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor Party, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600