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Media releases & speeches

The Hon Dan Tehan MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC

23 May 2017

Addressing the RSL NSW Annual State Congress

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said the Government had provided more money for mental health services and improving claims processing times after listening to the New South Wales veteran community.

Mr Tehan today addressed the RSL NSW Annual State Congress in Albury about the additional $350 million for veterans’ initiatives in this year’s Budget.

“Veterans and their families told us they wanted more money for mental health services and they wanted the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (DVA) claims process improved,” Mr Tehan said.

“We have listened and we have responded by providing $33.5 million to expand the non-liability health care program to cover all mental health conditions.

“Now the Government will cover the treatment for all mental conditions for anyone who has served at least a day in the full-time Australian Defence Force.

“There was also an additional $8.5 million to expand eligibility for the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service so the partners and children of our contemporary veterans, who have served at least one day of full-time service, can access services and support, including counselling and group programs.

“The Government will invest a further $9.8 million to pilot new approaches to suicide prevention and improve care and support available to veterans.”

Mr Tehan said funding of $166.6 million would be provided to begin the modernisation of DVA’s antiquated ICT systems which would provide easier access to services and improve claims processing times.

Media enquiries:

Minister Tehan’s Office: Byron Vale, 0428 262 894
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 8 8241 4546). VVCS is a service founded by Vietnam veterans.