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Joint Media Release


Hon Stephen Martin MP Hon Chris Schacht 

Federal Member for Cunningham Senator for South Australia 

Shadow Minister for Defence Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs


30 March, 1999




The Shadow Mini ster for Defence, Stephen Martin, and the Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Senator Chris Schacht, today attacked the application of the GST to the membership fees of the Vietnam Veterans Federation and other similar veterans organisations.


During Question Time today, Stephen Martin asked Minister Scott: “Why is it that the Government wants to penalise good community organisations like the Vietnam Veterans Federation by imposing a 10% GST on them?”


Senator Schacht said: “The Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia derives most of its income from membership fees and this is spent on the welfare of sick and suffering veterans and their families.”


In the March edition of its newsletter, the President of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, Tim McCombe, says “It simply means that the government intends to impose its new tax so that it snatches away for itself money otherwise destined to assist those sick and suffering because they fought for their country.”


Mr Martin said: ‘The GST will clearly add to the burden carried by the Australian community, and in particular to the sick and suffering veterans of Australia’s wars, and their families. Yet this is what the Federal Government wants to do.”


‘The Minister’s answer shows that not only does the Minister not care about Veterans organisations, but that he is not even aware of their views on the subject of the GST. This is clearly not good enough, Australia must seek to assist those who fought so bravely for our country.”


Senator Schacht said: ‘The Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia does not involve itself in political or moral issues which do not directly bear upon the welfare of sick veterans and their families so their condemnation is particularly significant.


“That the Federation has taken up the GST as an issue is an indication of the very real fear in the community regarding the GST.”


Further information:


Amanda Forman (Stephen Martin) (02) 6277 4363 or 0413 602 230


Guy Ballantyne (Chris Schacht) on (02) 6277 3844