Joint media release — $7.5 million for veteran wellbeing in Tasmania

Thursday, December 23 2021

The Hon Andrew Gee MP
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel

Mr Gavin Pearce MP
Federal Member for Braddon

Mrs Bridget Archer MP
Federal Member for Bass

The Morrison Government has today announced an additional $2.5 million for Tasmanian wellbeing services for veterans and their families, bringing the total support for Veteran Wellbeing Centres in Tasmania to $7.5 million.

This funding will deliver a Veteran Wellbeing Centre for Burnie and enhanced services in Launceston, as well as localised wellbeing services across Tasmania. There are almost 9,000 veterans and their families who are supported across Tasmania, with many living in the mid-north and North West of the state.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said local Members Gavin Pearce and Bridget Archer understood the urgent need for supporting veteran wellbeing centres and have a strong track record of backing local veterans.

“Our Government’s Veteran Wellbeing Centre program is designed to support centres that focus on health and wellbeing of our veterans and their families, connecting them to a range of support services,” Minister Gee said.

Today also marks the opening of the consultation process for the rollout of the $5 million Tasmanian Veteran Wellbeing Centre network, which will occur over coming weeks.

“We are going to be working closely with the veteran community and ex-service organisations to help transform services and support for our veterans and their families across Tasmania,” Minister Gee said.

“Our servicemen and women have given Australia their best, and it is only right we give them our best in return.

“We want to deliver the best and most effective model for our veterans and their families by taking a localised approach across a number of regional locations.

“These centres will work closely with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments, ex-service organisations, businesses and other organisations to provide the integrated and localised services that our veterans and their families need and deserve.

“I’d like to thank the Tasmanian Government and Veterans’ Minister Guy Barnett for their continued work supporting our veterans, and co-operation in helping to finalise a joint feasibility study, which has been released today.”

Federal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce said the North West Tasmania Veteran Welfare Board will establish and operate a Defence Force Veteran Transition Centre in Burnie with $2.2 million in Federal funding.

“This Centre is extremely welcome news providing ongoing support to our veterans and their families across the north-west coast of Tasmania,” Mr Pearce said.

“It will be a state-of-the-art facility, providing veterans improved access to financial, health, rehabilitation, psychology and social services.

“By ensuring this service at a local level, veterans will be able to receive services from local people who know the local environment and service availability.”

Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer said a Federal investment of $250,000 for the Launceston RSL Sub-Branch will further develop their existing Veterans Support and Wellbeing Hub.

“By upgrading the facilities in Launceston, the Sub-Branch will be able to provide increased capacity and capability to enable their volunteers to continue to provide vital services and ongoing support to veterans and their families,” Mrs Archer said.

“The upgraded facilities will also increase the financial viability of the Launceston RSL Sub-Branch by providing an increased income stream through hiring out of facilities to the general public.”

This investment is part of the Morrison Government’s $40.7 million Budget commitment to Veteran Wellbeing Centres throughout Australia.

Further information is available on the DVA website and by email: veteranswellbeingcentres@dva.gov.au.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24/7 free confidential crisis support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families on 1800 011 046 or the Open Arms website. Safe Zone Support provides anonymous counselling on 1800 142 072. Defence All-Hours Support Line provides support for ADF personnel on 1800 628 036 or the Department of Defence website. Defence Member and Family Helpline provides support for Defence families on 1800 624 608.