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Support for veterans throughout the festive season.



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The Hon. Danna Vale MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Media Release

Monday, 22 December, 2003 VA119

SUPPORT FOR VETERANS THROUGHOUT THE FESTIVE SEASON

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Danna Vale, today extended warm wishes to Australia’s veterans, war widows, and their families for a very merry Christmas and an enjoyable, safe New Year.

“This year has been a very busy and productive year in Veterans’ Affairs and I look forward to continuing to work with the veteran and ex-service community throughout Australia in 2004,” Mrs Vale said.

“With regard to arrangements over the Christmas period, the pension payment due to fall on Christmas Day has been brought forward and will be paid on Tuesday 23 December.

“The Department of Veterans’ Affairs will be closed for the Christmas-New Year break, re-opening on Friday, 2 January 2004. Many key services, however, will continue to be available during this period through after-hours arrangements, including transport and hospital admissions.

“While Christmas is a very special time it can also be a source of stress for many people.

“Any veteran, war widow or their family who needs support during this time is encouraged to contact the Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service, which offers 24-hour crisis counselling through its after hours Veterans Line.”

VVCS services are available to veterans of all conflicts and their families, including members of peacekeeping missions, through the following toll free 24-hour Veterans Line numbers:

1800 011 046 Vic, Qld, ACT, Tas, SA, NT and WA 1800 043 503 NSW 1800 019 332 North Qld

"Once again my best wishes to all veterans, war widows and their families over the festive season.”

Media Contact: Claire Bannon 0423 781 896