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Veterans receive $7155 in grants.



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Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

Wednesday 1 June 2005 VA053

VETERANS RECEIVE $7155 IN GRANTS

Ex-service organisations in Rockhampton and surrounds will receive more than $7150 in Australian Government grants to help local veterans, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, De-Anne Kelly, announced today.

Mrs Kelly announced she had approved the funding to two ESOs in the federal electorate of Capricornia under the Government’s Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grants.

"The BEST program recognises the valuable role that organisations such as these play in helping veterans, war widows and their families to access their rightful entitlements," Mrs Kelly said.

"BEST grants are available to a range of organisations to help fund the work of pension officers and advocates and to provide key resources such as computing and office equipment.

"At the Federal election, the Government stepped up its commitment to BEST with increased funding to help ex-service organisations explain the new Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act to current and former members of the Australian Defence Force."

The grants include:

● $4255 to the RSL Emu Park Sub-Branch for a shredder and CD burner; and

● $2900 to the Rockhampton and Central Queensland Legacy Fund for computer equipment.

Mrs Kelly said the BEST grants included, for the first time, travel costs to cover situations where a pension officer had to visit a veteran at home.

"This is a further enhancement to the Government’s support through BEST and recognises the needs of veterans who, through illness or immobility, may not be able to get to a local centre to get the advice they need," Mrs Kelly said.

Mrs Kelly praised the work of each of the groups, saying they had been hugely successful in providing assistance to the veteran community.

"The quality of the BEST-related claims and welfare work that has been undertaken by each of these groups is impressive and I am delighted the Government is able to continue its support," Mrs Kelly said.

Media contact: Craig Clarke 0417 889 423