The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
The Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Darren Chester is urging the Goulburn Valley military community to ‘have your say’ on the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
Mr Chester is visiting the electorate of Nicholls for two days as part of consultation with veterans, family members, service personnel and ex-service organisations.
“With a large veteran community and the Puckapunyal Military Area, it’s important communities in Nicholls have a chance to have their say on this important issue,” Mr Chester said.
“The Member for Nicholls Damian Drum has invited me here to meet with veterans, Defence personnel and their families to discuss the Royal Commission and other significant issues.
“Damian has been active in promoting the interests of veterans and Defence personnel in his community and I look forward to listening to locals on this visit.
“Any member of the community or any organisation across Australia is able to provide input regarding the broad themes for the Terms of Reference announced this week.”
Mr Chester said the Royal Commission was a chance to unite the veteran community and build on other measures which have been put in place to support veterans and their families.
“We have a world-class system of support for veterans and their families and Australians can be proud of the fact that $11.5 billion in taxpayers’ money will be provided this year to allow the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to do its work,” Mr Chester said.
“There’s an enormous amount of help available through DVA, ex-service organisations and community groups which is making a difference every day.
“But the system isn’t perfect and the Royal Commission is an opportunity to identify any weaknesses, listen to the ideas of Australians, and implement changes that can help to save lives.”
Support for veterans and their families is available free of charge through the Open Arms counselling service on 1800 011 046.
Rachel Tharratt or Cedric Szigeti: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466
Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au