The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister for Defence Personnel
Mr Phillip Thompson OAM, MP
Member for Herbert
Joint Media Release
MINISTER for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester will visit the Townsville community in the lead-up to Anzac Day this year, accepting an invitation from the Member for Herbert Phil Thompson.
Mr Chester said he looked forward to returning to Townsville on 22 April to meet with Australian Defence Force personnel, veterans and their families.
“Travel restrictions over the last 12 months have made it difficult to meet face to face, but local MP Phil Thompson has been in constant contact with me on a wide range of defence and veterans' issues important to the community in Australia’s largest garrison city,” Mr Chester said.
"I would like to thank Mr Thompson for the invitation and look forward to hearing directly again from people in the serving and ex-serving community about what we are doing right and where we could be doing more.”
The Australian Government provides more than $11.7 billion per year in services and programs to support more than 325,000 veterans and their families.
Member for Herbert Phil Thompson said a range of changes had been implemented to benefit the serving and ex-serving community and the visit would provide a great opportunity to give an update on this work.
“Minister Chester will also meet with some of the veterans that I have spoken with to ensure he is hearing from the people on the ground about further improvements that can be made for our veterans and our families,” Mr Thompson said.
Townsville is home to around 11,400 ADF personnel and their families, and more than 8,600 veterans and their families.
Minister Chester, Rachel Tharratt or Cedric Szigeti: (02) 6277 7820
Mr Thompson, Philip Calder: (07) 4725 2066
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