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2,500 Wannon veterans to receive boost to health care.

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David Hawker MP Federal Member for Wannon Electorate Office: 190 Gray Street, Hamilton, Vic., 3300 Ph: (03) 5572 1100 or Local Call 1300 131 692 Fax: (03) 55 72 1141 Email: Web:

Media Release The Hon David Hawker MP Speaker of the House of Representatives Federal Member for Wannon

12 September 2006


Western Victorian veterans holding a Gold or White card will benefit from a $600 million funding boost from the Australian Government to ensure their continued access to free high quality health care, Federal Member for Wannon, David Hawker, said today.

Mr Hawker said the package demonstrates the Australian Government’s continued commitment to recognising the service and health needs of veterans and war widows, and he was happy to see that his representations to the Minister for Health on behalf of Wannon’s veteran community had paid off.

“I have been lobbying the relevant Ministers for over a year on this issue and I’m delighted with the end result. The Government has worked closely with health practitioners and the ex-services community in developing this package for veterans,” Mr Hawker said.

The package, worth more than $600 million over the next five years, secures veteran Gold and White Card holders’ continued access to free health care services.

“This commitment is an example of the Government listening to the concerns of veterans and recognises that Gold and White Card holders often have more complex healthcare needs,” Mr Hawker said.

“The package acknowledges the high level of health care provided to Gold and White Card holders by specialists, general practitioners, allied health care providers, dentists, optometrists and pathologists.”

Mr Hawker said that the Government wants to ensure that Gold and White Card holders enjoy peace of mind, knowing that if they require treatment, they will be looked after by the health care professionals they know and trust.

“This new package complements the Government’s earlier announcement of more than $3 billion over the next four years to expand veterans’ access to private hospital services,” Mr Hawker said.

“Veterans requiring hospitalisation can now access a full range of treatment services from large metropolitan surgical hospitals, regional facilities and small local hospitals close to family and home.”

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Media contact: Jane Templeton (02) 6277 4006