Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Increased penalties for Defence medals fraud.



Download PDFDownload PDF

MINASSIST 08/03 Wednesday 26 March 2003

INCREASED PENALTIES FOR DEFENCE MEDALS FRAUD

Penalties for fraudulently claiming Defence service will increase 15-fold under legislation introduced into Parliament today by the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, Danna Vale.

“Our community holds veterans and serving personnel in the highest regard,” Mrs Vale said.

“Their service and sacrifice in Defence of our nation deserves protection from those who wrongly seek to claim the same honour and respect.”

Under the Federal Government’s proposals, the penalty for wrongly claiming to be a returned soldier, sailor or airman, or wearing medals to which an individual is not entitled, will increase from a $200 fine, to a maximum penalty of $3,300 and up to six months imprisonment.

Mrs Vale said Defence legislation specifically excluded family members of service personnel who were permitted to wear the member’s medals.

“This Bill will also increase the penalty for defacing or destroying Defence medals or decorations from a $200 fine to a maximum penalty of $6,600 and/or12 months imprisonment,” the Minister said.

Minister Vale said the changes were a result of concerns of the Government and the wider community regarding practices that were unlawful, deceitful and disrespectful to veterans and service personnel.

“The increase in these penalties will enable the Government to better protect the honour of Defence veterans and service personnel,” Mrs Vale said.

“I call on the Opposition parties to support this legislation as soon as possible so that we can provide that increased protection.”

.

Media contact:

Rachael Thompson 02 6277 7820 0417 265 289