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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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Friday, 14 November 2014
VA090

TARGETED SERVICE TO VETERANS IN WESTERN SYDNEY

From December, veterans in the greater Western Sydney region will receive more targeted support from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs through an expanded outreach program and a new office in Parramatta.

Over recent months the Department has been consulting with veterans, war widows and widowers, and their families in the region about services currently provided through the Veterans’ Affairs Network (VAN) office in Parramatta.

The aim of the consultation was to consider the most effective and sustainable way to provide services to DVA clients throughout the region.

It was clear from the feedback received that whilst face-to-face contact remains important, combining it with targeted outreach services would ensure greater accessibility for those residing across the region, and enhance the services provided through the new office.

After careful consideration, a VAN office will be maintained in Parramatta.  It will be relocated to Station Street, and a regular outreach program including visits to veterans, the provision of information and other community activities will commence, ensuring more convenient access to services for clients in suburbs including St Marys, Granville, Penrith and surrounding localities.

These new arrangements will enable veterans to access services and information from more locations across the region and closer to where they reside.  Importantly, these arrangements will maintain an office in Parramatta which will be located within walking distance to parking facilities as well as train and bus interchanges.

We know that more and more of DVA clients are choosing to contact the Department via a the internet and telephone.  In fact, personal visits to the Parramatta VAN office have declined by around 40 per cent since 2009.  As the needs of the veteran community change, we must also review, adapt and respond to the changing circumstances.

Community outreach is an important part of this solution and one which we are confident will meet the needs of veterans and their families.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the consultation.

The Government is committed to a stand-alone Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  These changes build on this commitment to ensure we are providing responsive and efficient services to veterans in locations where veterans want to access these services.

Media inquiries:  02 6277 7820 or 0448 232 908
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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