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What are the views of Victorian veterans?



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Alan Griffin

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs,

Monday July 28 2008

WHAT ARE THE VIEWS OF VICTORIAN VETERANS?

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, will be in his home town of Melbourne this Friday seeking the views of veterans on the best way to give them a more effective voice at the highest levels of government.

Minister Griffin said eight meetings are being held nation-wide to discuss the structure and role of the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters—a key election commitment.

“Several hundred veterans have come to share their views with me at my consultations so far, and I expect a good turn out at the final meeting in Melbourne,” Mr Griffin said.

More than 100 individuals and organisations from all around Australia responded to a discussion paper on the Advisory Council released earlier this year.

“This impressive response has demonstrated very strong support for the Advisory Council and its role, but has also raised issues that need further discussion.

“During the parliamentary recess I have travelled to meet veterans in every state and territory to discuss these issues in person. I’m looking forward to hearing the always forthright views of the Victorian veteran and ex-service communities.

“There are a number of options on the table, including membership, appointment of the chair, how matters are referred to the Council, how it should operate and how it relates to my Department.

“The Government is also reviewing all consultation mechanisms between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the broader defence and ex-service communities. This will also be discussed at Friday’s meeting.

“I want to ensure the Council meets the needs of veterans and ex-service personnel before it’s established later this year. These consultation meetings with veterans and the veteran community are essential to achieve that goal.

“I expect there will be a range of opinions and robust discussion, but I know that we share the goal of looking out for the best interests of all those who have served Australia in uniform.

“I encourage all veterans and members of the Victorian veteran community interested in the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council to attend the meeting and contribute to the discussion.

“Following these consultation meetings I intend to appoint the Advisory Council by the end of August.”

The meeting is on Friday 1 August 2008 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm at Melbourne Town Hall, Corner Swanston and Collins Streets, Melbourne. Further details of meetings and copies of submissions are available at minister.dva.gov.au/PMAC/index.htm.

Meeting RSVPs: 03 9284 6445 Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109 To receive the Minister’s media releases automatically by email please go to minister.dva.gov.au/subscribe.htm