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

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

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

Mr Ewen Jones MP
Federal Member for Herbert

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Wednesday, 29 January 2014
VA004

MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS AND LOCAL MEMBER FOR HERBERT VISIT DVA OFFICES IN TOWNSVILLE

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, was joined today by the Federal Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones MP, meeting staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) and Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) offices in Townsville, along with local ex-service organisation (ESO) members.

“I am very pleased to be in Townsville today to meet locally-based staff from my Department and once again with members of the ESO community.  This is my first visit here as Minister which comes on the back of several visits as shadow minister,” Senator Ronaldson said.

There are over 4,300 DVA clients located in the Townsville area who have served in the Australian Defence Force from the Second World War through to the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, with many still serving.

“For my Department and the VVCS this is an important client region in Australia, with a large number of serving personnel at nearby Defence Force bases,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Federal Member for Herbert, Ewen Jones, also thanked local DVA and VVCS staff for their work for local veterans.

“The DVA office in Townsville first opened its doors back in 1985 and has maintained a presence in the local community. The office provides veterans in the region direct access to services that are available through the Department.

“For around 30 years the VVCS has played an important role in the region, providing specialised, free and confidential counselling for veterans and their families,” Mr Jones said. 

Senator Ronaldson also took the opportunity to re-affirm the Government’s commitment to the fair indexation of the Defence Forces Retirement Benefits (DFRB) and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) military superannuation pensions.

“DFRB and DFRDB superannuants aged 55 and over will see their pensions indexed in the same way as age and service pensions with effect from 1 July 2014.  Ewen Jones and I have made a pledge to deliver this commitment to the veterans of the Townsville region, and deliver it we will,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Brad Rowswell 02 6277 7820 or 0417 917 796
Mr Jones: Sheree Lineham 0407 200 899
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

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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