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Tasmania Consultative Forum - Summary 1 November 2017 meeting

Name Role
Present
Luke Brown Deputy Commissioner Tasmania – Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) (Chair)
Alan Robertson OAM Advocacy Training and Development Program (ATDP)
Alex Schouten Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)
Alex McNeill Naval Association of Australia (via video conference)
Graeme Barnett RFD     Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association (via video conference)
Helen Watling JP     Legacy Hobart
Jacinta Leahy Partners of Veterans Association 
Ray Williams Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association
GPCAPT Rex Bean (RTD) Royal Australian Air Force Association
LTCOL Shaun Harding Senior Australian Defence Force Officer 
Terry Roe JP RSL Tasmania
Terry Byrne         Launceston Legacy (via video conference)
Katrina Walker DVA 
Name Role
Apologies
Anne James DVA
Brian Harper OAM Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia (VVAA) 
WGCDR Charles Hill     Younger Veterans’ Forum
Matthew McGuinness Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service
Peter Hind Defence Reserve Support Council
Rosemary Charlston     War Widows Guild
Stephen Knox     Mates4Mates

Deputy Commissioner Update

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA)

Luke Brown informed members the DRCA has replaced the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) for current and former members who have injuries or illnesses arising from their service prior to 1 July 2004 as of 12 October 2017.  Eligibility and benefits under the DRCA will be the same as those currently available under the SRCA.  The DRCA will give the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs responsibility for all rehabilitation and compensation schemes that cover current and former ADF members and will recognise the unique nature of military service. 

Government Response to the Senate Committee Report on Veteran Suicide

Luke Brown provided an overview of the Government’s response to the Senate Committee Report, The Constant Battle: Suicide by Veterans, which was tabled by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs on 24 October 2017.

ATDP update

Alan Robertson provided an update on ATDP locally and nationally, including recognition of prior learning (RPL) and recent information sessions carried out in Tasmania by the ATDP Regional Manager. Mr Robertson expressed disappointment in the number of advocates that are participating in RPL and that communication regarding the new ATDP model needs to be improved.

Mr Robertson reinforced the message that an advocate should only practise to the level to which he or she has been trained. An ESO that tries to authorise anything outside the training level of competency of an advocate immediately forfeits VITA coverage and then both the advocate and the ESO become exposed to legal action and may be held jointly liable.

Members Updates

Royal Australian Air Force Association 

GPCAPT Rex Bean (RTD) reported the passing of National President, Air Vice-Marshal Brent Espeland AM (Retired).  A new president is to be elected at a meeting on 22 November 2017. 

Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association 

Ray Williams reported business as usual.  Next committee meeting will be held on 28 November 2017.

Senior Defence Representative

LTCOL Shaun Harding reported the 12th and 40th Battalion Royal Tasmania Regiments have relocated from Derwent Barracks to Anglesea Barracks.  Patterson Barracks will relocate to Youngtown at a later stage.   

Partners of Veterans Association 

Jacinta Leahy advised that Catherine Cole is currently attending the National Annual General Meeting in Canberra.  Heather Evans is new National President.

RSL Tasmania

Terry Roe reported that RSL is holding workshops in Devonport, Westbury and Claremont.  Mr Roe also commented on a recent successful meeting of the sub-branch presidents and stated that this meeting would be held regularly every six months.

Hobart Legacy

Helen Watling recently attended Legacy National Conference with guest speakers Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston, AK, AC, AFC and General David John Hurley, AC, DSC, Governor of New South Wales.

Launceston Legacy

Terry Byrne provided information regarding successful Veterans’ Health week activities.  Terry commented on a change in acquittal process for grant funding now that grants are not administered locally.

Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association 

Graeme Barnett RFD raised concerns about the lack of focus on issues relating to part-time Reservists. In particular, Graeme made the point that information made available at transition seminars is not provided to part-time Reservists who do not access that service.

Mr Barnett also advised of concerns relating to compensation claims lodged by transitioning members Mr Barnett there is a disparity between diagnosis made by the ADF and terminology within the Statements of Principals. Mr Barnett indicated he would provide examples of the claims that were being affected by this issue.

Naval Association of Australia 

Alex McNeill reported no feedback has been provided by members on information provided by DVA. 

DPAC 

Alex Schouten advised Centenary of ANZAC grant round has opened for 2017/2018.  Alex also informed members that the State Government reception for Tasmanians recently returned from overseas deployments will be held at Government House on 7 December 2017.

Next meeting

Wednesday 14 Feb 2017, 14:00, Hobart and Launceston (video conference)

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