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Previous Ministers' releases and speeches - Senator The Hon. Michael Ronaldson

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State

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Thursday, 7 August 2014


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson, today announced $3.8 million in funding to deliver important support services to Australia’s ex-service community.

“The Abbott Government has restored advocacy and support funding for the veteran community which was cut by Labor.  The 2014-15 budget provides an additional $1 million per year to the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) programme over the forward estimates. This funding will support the work of veterans’ advocates in helping veterans, war widows and widowers to access important information and services,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“This year 141 organisations have shared in $3.8 million in funding, ensuring the veteran community can continue to get the help and advice they need, when they need it, and from the people they trust.”

“BEST is the glue which holds the ex-service community together and I’m pleased the Government can continue to support this invaluable work,” he said.

“The additional $1 million in funding will support the work of veterans’ advocates, welfare and pension officers right across the country and provide them with greater certainty into the future.”

Senator Ronaldson said the Government had consulted extensively with Ex-Service Organisations to determine how best to spend the funding.

“We’ve listened to feedback from the Ex-Service Organisation Roundtable and as a result, more support will be made available to cover out-of-pocket expenses for volunteers and increased consideration will be given to an organisation’s welfare work when calculating funding,” he said.

BEST grants help ESOs fund a range of veteran support measures including salaries for trained advocates and pension staff, and administrative needs, including essential office supplies such as computer equipment and internet access.

For more information on DVA grants visit or call 133 254 or 1800 555 254 for regional callers.

Editors’ note: A list of grant recipients is attached, figures in table are GST inclusive. All dollar amounts in media release are GST exclusive. 

Media inquiries:
Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

BEST Grants 2014-15 - Round 16

Recipient Location Electorate   Amount $
Legacy Club of Canberra Inc  Deakin  Canberra $25,647.38
Vietnam Veterans and Veterans Federation ACT Inc  Page  Fraser $74,782.45
ACT total grants - 2     $100,429.83
Recipient Location Electorate   Amount $
Cardiff RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Cardiff  Charlton $7,007.40
VVAA Hunter Valley / Central Coast  Blue Haven  Dobell $8,413.83
LAVAS Inc  Springwood  Macquarie $30,738.79
Moruya RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Moruya  Eden-Monaro $1,600.00
Ashfield RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Ashfield  Grayndler $20,633.00
VVAA St Marys Outpost Sub-branch Inc  St Mary's  Lindsay $25,302.00
APPVA Inc (NSW office)  Waterman  Lyne $61,286.33
Armidale RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Armidale  New England $7,032.92
Far North Coast (NSW) Sub-branch Inc VVA of Australia  Goonellabah  Page $40,934.04
Woy Woy Ettalong Hardy's Bay RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Ettalong  Robertson $15,432.00
VVP&P Assoc of Aust (NSW Branch Inc)  Granville  Parramatta $260,593.09
Tamworth RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Tamworth  New England $29,227.76
VVPPA of Aust Central Coast Sub-branch Inc  Ettalong Beach  Robertson $20,586.20
Huskisson RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Huskisson  Gilmore $4,347.50
Tweed Heads and Coolangatta RSL Sub-branch  Tweed Heads  Richmond $33,405.97
Coffs Harbour Legacy Welfare Inc  Coffs Harbour  Cowper $16,696.00
Integrated Serviceperson's Association of Australia  Cootamundra  Riverina $19,135.95
Avalon Beach RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Avalon Beach  Mackellar $5,707.85
Newcastle Legacy Fund (Port Stevens Group)  Mayfield  Newcastle $39,917.19
Port Stephens Veteran Network (Sponsored by Newcastle Legacy Fund (Port Stevens Group)  Tanilba Bay  Paterson $28,476.66
Ourimbah Lisarow RSL Sub­branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Ourimbah  Dobell $3,631.00
Assoc of Far North Coast Ex­Service Orgs  Lismore  Page $56,558.36
Dungog RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Dungog  Paterson $3,999.00
RSL Welfare & Benevolent Institution (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Sydney  Sydney $103,813.07
VESPAS (Sponsored by Lachlan Legacy)  Cowra  Hume $15,032.58
Illawarra Veteran's Entitlement Service Inc  Jamberoo  Gilmore $36,200.00
Sydney Legacy  Sydney  Sydney $177,650.11
Newcastle & Hunter Region Vietnam Veterans Inc  Wallsend  Charlton $13,646.90
VVPPA (NSW Branch) Hastings Manning Macleay Sub-branch  Port Macquarie  Lyne $19,100.47
Macarthur Veterans Information Services (Sponsored by VVAA Macarthur Sub­branch Inc)  Minto  Werriwa $22,449.90
PVAA Inc (National)  Belmont  Shortland $12,242.60
NAA Inc Rooty Hill Sub-Section  Whalan  Chifley $4,957.60
Maitland RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Maitland  Hunter $8,958.00
The Entrance Long Jetty RSL Sub­branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Long Jetty  Dobell $16,528.14
War Widows' Guild of Australia NSW Ltd  Sydney  Sydney $58,458.84
Coffs Harbour RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Coffs Harbour  Cowper $1,750.00
North Bondi RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  North Bondi  Wentworth $46,907.21
Vet Centre Mid Nth Coast  Sawtell  Cowper $16,479.21
Hunter Legacy Appeals Fund  East Maitland  Hunter $8,407.34
Ryde City & Districts VVAA NSW  West Ryde  Bennelong $15,760.68
Toronto RSL Sub­branch (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Toronto  Charlton $17,522.80
VC Syd Northern Beaches Inc  Forestville  Warringah $21,288.88
Air Dispatch Assoc Aust Inc  Mt Kuring-gai  Berowra $29,906.05
Mosman RSL Sub­branch  Mosman  Warringah $864.00
Kurri Kurri RSL Sub­branch NSW (Sponsored by RSL NSW)  Kurri Kurri  Hunter $7,029.85
NSW total grants - 45     $1,395,617.06
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (NT Branch)  Freds Pass  Lingiari $9,400.00
Darwin RSL Sub-branch  Darwin  Solomon $8,900.00
Palmerston RSL Sub­branch (Sponsored by RSL SA)  Palmerston  Solomon $23,266.63
NT total grants - 3     $41,566.63
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
Aust Army Aviation Association Inc  Brookfield  Ryan $2,107.00
RSL (Qld Branch) Manly-Lota Sub-branch  Manly  Bonner $13,525.20
Cooroy Pomona RSL Sub-branch  Cooroy  Wide Bay $11,972.78
Redlands RSL Sub-branch  Cleveland  Bowman $54,367.82
Submarines Assoc of Aust (Qld Branch) Inc  Jimboomba  Wright $1,618.46
Gaythorne RSL Sub-branch Inc  Michelton  Ryan $11,238.21
Defence Force Welfare Association (Qld Branch Inc)  Enoggera  Brisbane $7,163.60
VVAA Bundaberg and District Sub-branch  Bundaberg  Hinkler $3,432.00
Beenleigh & District RSL Sub-branch  Mt Warren Park  Forde $3,941.73
RSL (QLD) Sandgate Sub-branch Inc  Sandgate  Lilley $29,486.92
VSAS Aust Inc Toowong Branch  Toowong  Brisbane $25,454.72
Armed Services Assistance Centre Inc  New Farm  Brisbane $78,456.40
Currumbin Palm Beach RSL Sub Branch Inc  Currumbin  McPherson $25,373.37
VVF QLD Branch Inc  Nerang  Moncrieff $120,723.31
Ipswich Veteran Support Group (Sponsored by Ipswich RSL Sub­branch Inc)  Ipswich  Blair $12,374.63
RSL (Qld Branch) Toowoomba United Sub­branch  Toowoomba  Groom $10,066.00
Lowood RSL Sub-branch  Lowood  Blair $66,737.65
VVF Townsville Inc  Townsville  Herbert $13,396.49
Sherwood / Indooroopilly RSL Sub-branch Inc  Corinda  Moreton $20,690.42
Surfers Paradise RSL Sub-branch Inc  Surfers Paradise  Moncrieff $61,015.26
National Servicemen's Combined Central RSL Sub-branch Inc  Frenchville  Capricornia $5,639.58
The Legacy Fund of Brisbane  South Brisbane  Griffith $33,104.47
VVAA Hervey Bay City Sub­branch  Pialba  Hinkler $43,232.00
Gold Coast Legacy Club Inc  Labrador  Fadden $2,395.67
Townsville RSL Sub-branch Inc  Hermit Park  Herbert $41,986.00
RSL QLD  Fortitude Valley  Brisbane $153,186.69
VVAA Townsville Sub-branch Inc  Kirwan  Herbert $12,173.00
Runaway Bay RSL Sub-branch Inc  Runaway Bay  Fadden $960.00
Legacy Club of Fraser Coast and Country Burnett Maryborough  Wide Bay $15,376.00
Gladstone RSL  Gladstone  Flynn $5,706.11
RSL (Qld Branch) Pine Rivers Dist Sub-branch  Kallangur  Dickson $6,383.00
RSL Qld Edmonton Sub­branch Inc  Edmonton  Kennedy $9,778.62
TP Disabled Ex Servicepersons Assoc (Townsville) Inc  South Townsville  Herbert $12,051.33
Beachmere RSL Sub-branch  Beachmere  Longman $2,121.99
RSL of Aust Banyo Sub-branch  Banyo  Lilley $3,700.00
Tewantin Noosa RSL Sub-branch  Tewantin  Wide Bay $11,448.00
Hervey Bay RSL Sub­branch Inc  Pialba  Hinkler $40,631.51
APPVA Inc QLD Branch  Hermit Park  Herbert $66,228.02
VVAA (Qld Branch) Bris Nth Inc  Kallangur  Dickson $3,037.00
Samford RSL Sub­branch Samford  Dickson $12,637.44
TPI Ex-Servicemen & Women (Qld) Gold Coast Region TPI Centre Inc  Surfers Paradise  Moncrieff $5,224.60
VVAA QLD  Burpengary  Longman $7,465.00
VSC Lockyer-Brisbane Valley Inc  Laidley  Wright $22,721.30
Mackay VS Group Inc  South Mackay  Dawson $5,927.00
Qld total grants - 44     $1,096,256.28
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
Beachvale Sub Section of the NAA (SA) Inc  Christie Downs  Kingston $5,031.00
Ex-Service Persons Pension Office (SA) (Sponsored by Beachvale Sub Section of the NAA (SA) Inc)  Christie Downs  Kingston $6,374.00
RAAF Assoc Mitcham Branch Inc  Hawthorn  Boothby $5,776.00
SA RSL State Branch  Adelaide  Adelaide $131,996.15
VVAA SA Branch  Adelaide  Adelaide $18,768.00
Legacy Adelaide  Adelaide  Adelaide $52,861.09
Vietnam Veterans Federation SA Branch Inc  Warradale  Boothby $49,338.38
SEVIC (SA) (Sponsored by RSL Mt Gambier Sub Branch & Memorial Club)  Mount Gambier  Barker $6,249.40
McLaren Vale & District RSL Sub-branch Inc  Mclaren Vale  Mayo $3,328.60
SA total grants - 9     $279,722.63
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
TPI Ex-Servicemen and Women (TAS Branch)  Battery Point  Denison $12,362.98
VVAA (Tas) Inc  Glen Huon  Franklin $1,957.00
TESSA Inc (Tas)  Hobart  Denison $91,386.23
TAS total grants - 3     $105,706.21
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
Defence Force Welfare Association Victoria Branch Inc  South Bank  Melbourne Ports $2,373.50
Legacy Melbourne  Melbourne  Melbourne $30,221.61
APPVA VIC Branch Inc  Ringwood  Deakin $24,599.00
Wimmera Veterans Centre (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Horsham  Mallee $37,589.80
Western Suburbs VSC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Melton  Gorton $24,666.05
West Gippsland VWC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Drouin  McMillan $1,580.00
VVAA Advocate Program (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Sale  Gippsland $32,012.09
Swan Hill & District Vet Info Centre (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Swan Hill  Mallee $16,316.89
Surf Coast RVC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Belmont  Corangamite $64,563.93
Sunraysia RVC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Mildura  Mallee $17,296.87
South West VC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Warrnambool  Wannon $6,250.00
Southern Peninsula VC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Rosebud  Flinders $53,432.08
South Eastern VC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Oakleigh  Chisholm $4,188.82
Mitchell VC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Seymour  McEwen $3,249.00
Melbourne V&SSC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  South Bank  Melbourne Ports $80,405.73
Leongatha VWC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Leongatha  McMillan $82,730.95
Hume Vet Info Centre (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Wodonga  Indi $49,295.36
Goulburn Valley VS (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Shepparton  Murray $3,689.28
Echuca Moama VSC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Echuca  Murray $5,870.00
Gippsland VWC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Sale  Gippsland $57,684.55
Central VIC VSC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Bendigo  Bendigo $81,642.90
Casey RVWC (Sponsored by RSL VIC)  Cranbourne  Holt $3,191.60
Ballarat RSL Sub­branch Inc  Ballarat  Ballarat $8,610.04
Carry On (Vic)  Flinders Lane  Melbourne $13,500.00
VIC total grants - 24     $704,960.03
Recipient Location Electorate Amount $
Defence Force Welfare Association (WA Branch) Inc  Karrakatta  Curtin $8,643.40
Perth Legacy  South Perth  Curtin $124,006.75
Partners of Veterans Assoc WA Inc  Perth  Perth $1,990.00
Australian Navy in Vietnam Veterans' Welfare Assoc of WA (Inc)  East Fremantle  Fremantle $10,927.00
Australian Flying Corps & Royal Aust Airforce Assoc (WA Div) Inc  Bull Creek  Tangney $2,525.00
Vietnam Logistic Support Veterans Assoc WA (Inc)  Yangebup  Fremantle $6,760.00
RSL WA  Perth  Perth $153,128.67
Mandurah RSL Sub-branch (Sponsored by RSL WA)  Mandurah  Brand $3,239.60
Northern Suburbs VSC (Sponsored by RSL WA)  Quinns Rocks  Pearce $9,311.69
Legacy Fund of Fremantle Inc  Fremantle  Fremantle $4,945.90
TPD Veterans of WA Inc  Rockingham  Brand $2,030.00
WA total grants - 11     $327,508.01
NATIONAL total grants 141     $4,051,766.68*

*GST inclusive

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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