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The Coalition's commitment to support Defence Force families



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION SENATOR THE HON. DAVID JOHNSTON, SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE MR. STUART ROBERT MHR, SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND PERSONNEL

THE COALITION’S COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT DEFENCE FORCE FAMILIES

A Coalition government will support the families of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel by providing free GP and basic allied health care for ADF dependents.

The families of our Defence Force personnel know all too well the hardships associated with a military life.

The Coalition’s Defence Family Health Care programme will enable all ADF dependants to receive full reimbursement for out of pocket expenses for GP services.

Additionally, each ADF dependant will be able to claim back up to $400 per year for allied health services such as dentistry, physiotherapy, psychology and podiatry.

Too often we forget to thank the families of ADF personnel who do so much to support our service personnel. Often families are relocated or separated from loved ones and they deserve our respect, gratitude and support.

Our provision of free GP and basic allied health care will provide needed cost of living assistance to thousands of ADF families across Australia.

This is an important initiative that is many years overdue.

In 2007, Kevin Rudd promised that he would extend free basic healthcare to ADF families. He also promised to build twelve Defence Family Healthcare Clinics. None were built - yet another example of Kevin Rudd being all talk and no action.

Labor instead established a trial programme for some ADF dependents, and then cut $50 million from the trial in last year’s budget.

Under Labor, defence funding has fallen to the lowest level as a percentage of GDP since 1938.

If elected, the Coalition will provide support and fairness to the families of ADF personnel.

The Coalition will also provide fair indexation of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits and Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits military superannuation pensions.

Only the Coalition can be trusted to keep its commitments to the families of ADF personnel.

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Our commitment to provide free GP and basic allied health care for ADF dependents will cost up to $103.6 million over the forward estimates. This money is allocated in the budget but Labor cannot be trusted to deliver it.

The Coalition’s commitment to support Defence Force families is part of the Coalition’s Real Solutions Plan to build a stronger Australia and a better future for all Australians.

23 August 2013