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Can Ben deliver more for veterans from cabinet?

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Can Ben Deliver More For Veterans From Cabinet?

The promotion of Ben Humphreys to the Federal Cabinet will raise the hopes of many in the veteran community that some long-standing issues will finally be addressed by the Keating Government.

While it must be recognised that Mr Humphreys is in the Federal Cabinet only because of the State he represents, his promotion offers new opportunities for the consideration of Veterans' Affairs issues.

The challenge facing Mr Humphreys is to persuade the rest of his Cabinet colleagues to begin addressing a number of outstanding issues in the field of Veterans' Affairs.

For instance, will he be able to persuade the Government to take action to address long-standing discrimination against war widows?

Will Australian merchant mariners of World War I and World War II finally receive the recognition they deserve as veterans under the Veterans' Entitlements Act?

Will the accommodation needs of veterans, particularly aged veterans, be addressed, as recommended in the Andrews Report?

Will Mr Humphreys, with a presence in Cabinet, be able to influence his colleagues to end his Government's continual erosion of veterans' entitlements, which has been occurring since the 1985 May Economic Statement?

Will Mr Humphreys be presenting to his Cabinet colleagues the strongly held views of the ex-service community with respect to the Australian National Flag?

The ex-service community will be judging the real worth of having the Minister for Veterans' Affairs in Cabinet on the answers which will emerge to these sorts of questions over the next few months.

26th May 1992 8/92

Further information: Senator Newman [06] 277 3660