JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - BRODTMANN AND RISHWORTH
The Turnbull Government’s decision to move the Canberra frontline Veterans’ Access Network from tomorrow into Centrelink is a disgraceful attack on veterans.
These offices are the first point of contact for the veterans’ community, giving advice on issues ranging from pension benefits, financial assistance, transport problems and mental health issues.
This disgraceful act from the Turnbull Government will force veterans to go to Centrelink for veteran services.
This is an attack on veterans who deserve their own access to critical services with specialist staff who help veterans and their families navigate often complex questions about entitlements and regulations, which are not the same as the services offered by Centrelink and Medicare.
More appallingly, the Minister only gave veterans four days’ notice of this move.
This is not the first time the Liberal Government has closed down VANs, with several forced to close their doors throughout Victoria and NSW - only proving the Government has no interest in providing stand alone frontline services to veterans.
Veterans and the ex-service community are furious with the Turnbull Government to move these services and with such short notice.
If this Government was serious about showing our veterans the respect they deserve it would not be moving this critical service into Centrelink. And it would not be doing it with such short notice.
This closure will particularly effect older veterans who rely on frontline advice and services provided by the VANs office.
Our veterans deserve better.