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Gold Card extension a step closer.

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Media Release The Hon Danna Vale MP   Minister for Veterans' Affairs Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence Federal Member for Hughes

VA19 Wednesday 20 March 2002

Gold Card Extension a Step Closer

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Danna Vale, today welcomed the passage through the House of Representatives of legislation to extend eligibility for the Gold Repatriation Health Card to all Australian Defence Force veterans with qualifying service who are over the age of 70.

"This legislation delivers on a key commitment of the Howard Government during the last election campaign," Minister Vale said.

"I look forward to the expedient passage of this Bill through the Senate, and urge the ALP and Democrats not to delay the legislation, so that all eligible veterans are able to benefit from 1 July 2002."

Minister Vale said the passage of the legislation would see an extra 4,000 Australian veterans immediately entitled to receive the comprehensive free health care provided by the Gold Card from 1 July 2002.

"Importantly, this legislation provides not only for veterans of past conflicts, such as the Korean War, the Malayan Emergency, the Indonesian Confrontation, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War," Minister Vale said.

"It also takes a long term view to provide access to the Gold Card in years to come for veterans in current conflicts, such as East Timor and Australia’s contribution to the coalition against terror.

"This will ensure that our older veterans receive the care they need, the care they deserve," the Minister said.

Following the passage of legislation through the Senate, Minister Vale said many eligible veterans who already receive benefits through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs would not need to submit an application, as they would automatically qualify for the Gold Card. These veterans will be sent a Gold Card and a letter advising them of their entitlement before 1 July.

Other veterans who believe they have qualifying service who have turned 70 on or before 1 July should contact DVA on 133 254 to receive an application form. Veterans who will turn 70 after 1 July can also lodge an application, with their entitlements to take effect from their birthday.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289


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Gold Card Extension a Step Closer [09/04/2002 1:16:28]