Home' Vetaffairs : Vetaffairs Winter 2016 Contents Vetaffairs is published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs as a
free newspaper for Australia’s veteran community.
Editor Megan MacDonald
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mail GPO Box 9998 Canberra, ACT 2601
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Firstly I would like to welcome back
the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan
Tehan MP following the July 2 election.
I know that the Minister is as keen and
motivated as my colleagues and I to
continue driving improvements to the
way DVA provides services to the vet-
The Federal Budget for 2016-17
funded 13 new measures for DVA with
an overall budget of $11.7 billion. The
Budget included significant funds for
the improvement of Information and
Communications Technology (ICT) pro-
cessing systems and the development
of a business case to re-design DVA
business to deliver more client focused
services and modernise IT systems.
These budget measures represent a sig-
nificant investment in the future of DVA
and will provide a foundation to con-
tinue to provide high quality services
and programs to veterans.
The 2016-17 Budget also provides
funding for the expansion of Non-liabil-
ity Health Care for mental health which
will enable us to provide support under
NLHC to many more veterans.
The new measures relating to veterans
are summarised within this issue and I
encourage you to read the articles and
DVA’s 2016-17 Budget Factsheet for a
more detailed understanding (available
This year on Anzac Day I had the
privilege of attending the Dawn Service
at Gallipoli with our Minister. It was a
well organised, dignified and respect-
ful event. It is always a great pleasure
for me to represent the Department at
Anzac Day services and commemorative
The Anzac Century of Service com-
memorative program will continue to
provide opportunities for all Australians
to participate and reflect on the service
and sacrifice of the men and women
who served Australia and its allies
in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping
operations. The centenary commemo-
rations of the Western Front battles of
Fromelles and Pozières in France where
so many young Australians paid the
ultimate sacrifice have also taken place.
Later this year further significant com-
memorations will take place including
the 50th anniversary of the Battle of
I would also like to take this oppor-
tunity to note some recent senior staff
departures and a new appointment. In
March, Mr Shane Carmody departed as
Chief Operating Officer after working
with DVA since 2009. Ms Sandy Bell,
Assistant Secretary, Service Access,
based in the Melbourne Office has
retired, and Mr Wayne Penniall retired
as National Manager of the Veterans and
Veterans Families Counselling Service
(VVCS). I would like to thank them for
their hard work and leadership contri-
bution, not just in DVA but throughout
their public service careers.
I recently welcomed back Liz Cosson
AM CSC to the position of DVA’s Chief
Operating Officer, bringing a unique per-
spective with her wealth of experience
in the public service and also a distin-
guished career in the ADF.
NEWS FROM THE DEPARTMENT
Simon Lewis, PSM
Secretary Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The diggers in my
The two World Wars didn’t affect my
family in a big way. My father was too
young to serve in WW2. My grandfa-
thers enlisted in WW1 but neither saw
combat. So I have no war graves to
visit; no family casualties to mourn;
no war that affected me personally.
However, when I was little, my
father watched the news in the
lounge room every night while I
played nearby. I would listen to the
news in the background, paying it
scant attention. I would look up from
time to time, but the pictures were
the same every night too – black and
white images of helicopters and sol-
diers running around with guns.
Every now and then the dron-
ing voice would mention death and
“injured Australians”, and the black
and white images would be of men
lying down. I knew what those things
meant of course. But it was not scary
or confronting, because it was on the
news every night. I was immune to it.
Now, I remember those days very
well, and the black and white images
have stayed in my memory. How-
ever, I am no longer immune. I now
know their significance, and I am glad
I remember them.
The Summer 2015 edition of Vetaffairs contained an error in
the article Rebalanced assets test to apply from 2017.
Table 1 included incorrect Income Support Supplement
(ISS) estimated asset values causing a pension reduction
on 1 January 2017 for a member of a couple. The table below
shows the correct figures for the ISS asset values causing a
pension reduction. All other amounts published in the arti-
cle were correct. Apologies for any inconvenience caused by
Income Support Supplement
New rules as at 1/1/2017*
Couple combined, homeowner
Couple combined, non-homeowner $838,000
*Actual amounts may vary depending on future indexation
of pension rates and asset value limits.
Vetaffairs welcomes letters to the
editor. All letters should carry the
sender’s full name, address and
contact telephone number. Letters
should be no more than 200 words
and may be edited. Unfortunately,
due to space constraints, not all
letters can be published, however,
a representative selection will be
featured. Letters should be sent to:
GPO Box 9998
Canberra ACT 2601
or faxed to (02) 6289 6025
Vetaffairs publishes letters in good
faith and takes no responsibil-
ity for the accuracy of statements
made in them. The editor does not
reply to letters to the editor.
Do you have a complaint, compliment or suggestion for DVA?
Phone 1300 555 785
Do you have a general enquiry for DVA?
Phone 133 254 or from regional Australia freecall 1800 555 254
2 — Vetaffairs Autumn 2016
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