NEWS AND INFORMATION
On this page we discuss matters concerning the Veteran Community in Australia
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The Vietnam Veterans Federation will do what it can to ease the path for our worthy successors.
GOVERNMENT CONSIDERS THE PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REPORT
As reported in the 2019 December issue of the Newsletter, here is a brief summary of my report. The full report will be available early next year (2020).
WE thought it a good idea at the time and we participated vigorously after a Senate Committee recommended the Productivity Commission enquire into the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We thought that the Productivity Commission would look at all aspects of the Department and recommend remedies and wholesale changes - and, to be fair, it did some of that. However, the Productivity Commission ignored the special and well established system of caring for disabled war veterans developed after the experience of World War I, World War II, Korea, Malaya, Malaysia, Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan and decided to recommend a totally new system based on a civilian model of compensation.
The experience gained from those tragic conflicts and the promises made to veterans after them was seemingly ignored by the Productivity Commission which preferred options favoring cost savings.
Unfortunately, our previous objections to the Productivity Commission’s draft report have been ignored. But those objections still apply. They include the Productivity Commission wanting to reduce eligibility for the Gold Card; introduce a medical co-payment; tamper with the Veterans Review Board (when it is functioning well); do away with the Specialist Medical Review Council, (a body which has been so useful in righting bureaucratic wrongs). And so on.
The full submission link is included elsewhere on this page, or from HERE
Not enough is done for veterans’ partners.
Yet it is clear that partners can be, and in many cases are, second wave war casualties.
Continue to read more HERE
Those seeking information about why we came together in the mid 1970's and became the organisation we are today, I recommend browsing through the 'About Us' page, and have a look at the 'Agent Orange' article in 'Current Issues' later on this page.
DVA - Military Compensation
Commonwealth Superannuation (MSBS, DFRDB and Retrospective medical discharge claims)
Asbestos - Dust Disease Tribunal claims
Industry super claims - income protection - TPD appeals
claims for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration - CDDA
The following articles reflect a broad spectrum of our activities in relation to Veterans and our efforts to protect their entitlements, regardless of government and governance of issues that affect us and those that will follow.
It provides an insight into the demands that constant vigilance is required to protect hard won rights and entitlements that the younger soldier of today will need to understand so that those that come after them are treated as equally.
The Australian Productivity Commission conducted an independent inquiry into whether the compensation and rehabilitation system currently available for veterans in Australia is fit for purpose now, and whether the system is likely to effectively and efficiently support veterans and their families in thefuture.
The Productivity Commission reported in February 2019, and while we feel it exposed the DVA failures and misconduct it remains an enigma as to what the reports final decisions and outcomes were.
Our researchers have delved deeply into the report and released their findings in our March 2019 newsletter.You can read that report HERE
We have since responded with an expose into our findings and recommendations which can be found HERE
UNDER current DVA arrangements, a GP may refer a client to physiotherapists and other allied health services for up to a year at DVA’s expense (except for dental and optical, for which no referral is required). For chronic conditions, the GP can make an ongoing referral.
Under the new arrangements, which will be in place from 1 July 2019, GPs will only be able to make a referral to physiotherapists and other allied health services at DVA’s expense for up to 12 sessions or one year, whichever comes sooner. This new arrangement will also apply to those clients with a chronic condition. Dental and optical services will still not need a GP referral.
You can read the report HERE
We came home to a hostile community, many taking their angst toward government out on the unsuspecting soldier returning from war. In many cases DVA did not want to know us, and some RSLs shunned us.
Then we began to notice that a lot of returned veterans from Vietnam, and more importantly, our children, were suffering cancers and deseases that proved to be as a result of the veterans exposure to herbicides and defoliants used in Vietnam.
Our long march to retribution explains a lot of how we developed over the intervening 40 years, and we carry on the fight for todays veteran and service personnel. No better insight can come but from the report on why we forced a 'NEW' history on the effects of those herbicides to be commissioned by the Government.
You can catch up on the issue from the start HERE
Read an independent review of our fight HERE
Catch up on the latest about the rewrite of history HERE
There were a plethora of Herbicides and Insecticides used during the Vietnam War, in vast quantities, covering forests, buildings, and the soldier in camp and in the field.
In the late 1970s, evidence was emerging from the United States that exposure to herbicides in Vietnam may have caused, and may cause in the future, cancer.
Australian veterans were not only concerned about exposure to herbicides but also insecticides. Herbicides were used to kill the forests and bush while insecticides were used to kill harmful insects.
Read about Vietnam veteran Dr John Mordike's paper on this issue HERE
Current delays in DVA processing compensation claims is increasing suicide risk
HOW often have we heard DVA and Ministers promise a speed up of claims processing?
The answer is: ‘often’.
And why has this been a continuing issue?
Because sick veterans waiting for their claims to be decided are under considerable stress. This is particularly true of those unable to work.
The longer the sick veterans have to wait, the greater the stress — anxiety in veterans who are already suffering high levels of war caused anxiety, can rise to dangerous levels.
The Jesse Bird suicide is a case in point.
In the past promises to cut down claims processing times have sometimes been honoured in the short run. Inevitably however, when the spotlight moves to other issues, the processing times have lapsed back to unreasonable lengths.
In the wake of the recent Senate enquiry into veteran suicide and the Jesse Bird scandal, more promises were made.
It seems this time there has not been even a short term honouring of the promise. Claims received by DVA are being held in a queue for 5 months before being assigned to determining officers. And of course, the process will take another few months to complete. It is not uncommon for claims to take nine months or even a year to be determined. Clearing backlogs is not ‘rocket science’.
For heavens sake DVA, get on with it because these delays are increasing the likelihood of suicides.
VEA, MRCA, DRCA, all effect veterans and those still serving, but which one, or combinations of any, best fit your circumstances>
Read about the Acts and your entitlements HERE
UPDATED COPY BELOW
One way we reach our membership, and several government ministers, is via our Federation Journal, 'THE VIETNAM VETERANS NEWSLETTER'. It is by far one of the most respected publications within the Australian services and veteran communities.
It's aim is to promote relevant news of concerns and issues to our membership, and it is not unusual that each publication draws debate about exactly what successive governments, the DVA and the RMA are trying to get away with, and their responsibility toward veteran care in Australia
Hard copies of current issues may be available from our offices at times. However, the best way to ensure delivery of your hard copy is to keep your membership up to date. The images below will link visitors to a (.pdf) printable version of the publications shown. It is best viewed in mobile landscape, laptops portrait, or full desktop mode, or downloaded for printing and read later.
The printable/downloadable copy have been redacted to keep the integrity of indexed pages, and include only items not affecting articles such as Branch Listings, advertising, reunion notices and the last post. Also, some imaging has been returned to original full colour, previously unavailable on the printed hard copy.
We will publish a list of Reunions and Notices from time to time, as and when information is supplied to us. Most are Unit notifications and all care is taken to ensure the details are correct. If you cannot reach the relative party at the contacts given, please contact the Webauthor to advise.
The current list is available for download HERE
Some of our affiliates, such as the VVPPAA NSW, State Branch HQ, make products available for sale to bolster income streams, to enable our mission to assist veterans and their families continue in the immediate future
Products include items that are Vietnam Veterans', Peacekeepers & Peacmakers Association of Australia (NSW Branch) Inc.,(VVPPAA NSW), badged and designed, but not restricted, for NSW members and families. , and supporters.
To satisfy members interstate and globally, some items are branded with a logo of (The)Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia Inc., (VVFA), again, designed for unresticted members and supporters.
Certain information regarding payment, Paypal, phone orders and our policies and practises, can be found on the NSW website (www.vvfagranville.org). Some products require further information, such as 'NumberPlate Surrounds', and 'Stickers'. To review such items, and download or read, the full Product Information pack, press HERE
You can help us by making a donation, purchasing raffle tickets, and by buying some of the merchandise we have on offer from NSW, through State Branch Granville, one of our Interstate Branches, or any of our Sub-Branches, as well as, by direct order from our website.
Although some of the heavier and bulkier items may incur a delivery feewhen posted from our Granville HQ we will keep this cost to a minimum wherever possible. Usually, this will be $5.00 per order with the exception of the Number Plate Surrounds (items 1115 & 1116) - for eg. (See Below).When ordering from the website your delivery fee will be calculated at checkout, so no surprises there.
Orders may be made directly on line through the NSW website, anytime, by clicking on the ‘Shop’ button, or by phone direct to any of our Branches and Sub-branches offices during normal business hours. Or, by using our downloadable Mail Order Form. Naturally, due to their fund-raising necessities at other branch offices, pricing may vary to that available on-line or directly through our Granville office. However, in all instances, efforts will be made to honour advertised prices.
The downloadable order form can be found, HERE
DO NOT CONFUSE THIS FORM WITH THE ON-LINE ORDERING PROCESSS