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Part 2—Recognition of veterans and their families

Part 2 Recognition of veterans and their families


5   General recognition

             (1)  The Commonwealth acknowledges the unique nature of military service and the sacrifice demanded of those who commit to defend our nation.

             (2)  The Commonwealth acknowledges the demands placed on, and the sacrifices made by, the families of veterans.

             (3)  The Commonwealth acknowledges that veterans may require support mechanisms to enjoy good health, to access employment and training opportunities, to access appropriate housing, to have access to justice, to enjoy social wellbeing or to participate in community engagement after the end of their military service.

             (4)  The Commonwealth is committed to supporting veterans and providing the care and support they require.

             (5)  The Commonwealth acknowledges that support for veterans should be provided in a way that respects their dignity as individuals, enhances their self-esteem, is sensitive to any physical or mental injury or disease they may have suffered and respects their military service.

             (6)  The Commonwealth acknowledges that veterans should be supported to achieve greater economic wellbeing and sustainability and greater participation in civic affairs and should have opportunities to participate in employment and education.

6   Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant

                   The Parliament, on behalf of the people of Australia, endorses the Australian Defence Veterans’ Covenant set out in Schedule 1.

7   Beneficial interpretation of legislation

             (1)  The Commonwealth is committed to decision-makers interpreting a provision of the following legislation in a way that benefits veterans, or their families, where that interpretation is consistent with the purpose of that provision:

                     (a)  the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 ;

                     (b)  the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 ;

                     (c)  the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 ;

                     (d)  instruments under those Acts.

             (2)  The Commonwealth is committed to decision-makers deciding claims under that legislation:

                     (a)  in a manner that is fair, just and consistent; and

                     (b)  within a time that is proportionate to the complexity of the matter; and

                     (c)  in a manner that promotes public trust and confidence; and

                     (d)  on the basis of only requiring evidence sufficient to meet the relevant standard of proof for the claims.

8   Cooperation

                   The Commonwealth is committed to working cooperatively with veterans, their families and ex-service organisations to address issues facing veterans.