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ESO Round Table - summary of meeting 3 March 2017

The Ex-Service Organisation Round Table (ESORT) met for the 36th time in Canberra on 3 March 2017.

The meeting was attended by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Dan Tehan MP. The Minister thanked members for the work they have been doing including advice provided to his Office. Discussion ensued on the extension of eligibility for Long Tan Bursaries and departmental powers under the Digital Readiness Bill. The Chair welcomed Mr Terry Makings, the new President of the Naval Association of Australia.


Members were provided with an update on:

  • the dates for Long Tan Bursary presentations that are being finalised and provisions that are covered under current legislation;
  • DVA’s communication strategy around policy and procedural changes introduced for claims relating to sexual and physical abuse;
  • potential changes to the Building Excellence in Support and Training (BEST) grant calculation formula for Round 20; and
  • the progress of the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program and noted the Australian Public Service Commission website is being updated to provide information for veterans seeking government employment.

National Collaboration

Mr Andrew Condon provided members with an update on work undertaken to further enhance ESO National Collaboration.


Members were updated on the Department’s Transformation initiatives, including a tour of the Lighthouse Project facilities and demonstration of a new online claim form under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. AIRCDRE Steve Martin provided a demonstration of the ADF’s new Engage Website – Common Access Portal that will link ADF members with organisations who provide support and services. Members were addressed by Mr Paul Way, Director General, Defence Community Organisation, on the Department of Defence’s work on transition for discharging members of the ADF.

Health Delivery

Members were updated on new contracting arrangements with all Private Hospitals and on the Booked Car With Driver scheme. Members noted that new items have been added to the Rehabilitation Appliances Program in addition to the Review of Dental and Allied Health Arrangement, which will be completed by the end of 2017.

Government Enquiries/Commitments

Members were updated on activities focused on suicide prevention and support for those at risk.

Member Submission: DVA Health Treatment Card on discharge

Members heard a presentation from the Royal Australian Regiment Association regarding the issue of DVA Health Treatment Cards on discharge.

Member Submission: Centrelink, Medical, Pharmaceutical and Medical Providers Services to Totally and Permanently Incapacitated (TPI) clients

Members heard a presentation from TPI Federation Australia regarding recent issues concerning treatment for TPI Gold Card holders.

Member Submission: Determination of Policies, Practices and Guidance covering exhumation for the purposes of identifying Australian Armed Forces personnel Missing-in-Action

Members heard a joint presentation from the Royal Australian Air Force Association, Royal Australian Regiment Corporation and Naval Association of Australia regarding the possible exhumation for the purposes of identifying Australian Armed Forces personnel that are missing-in-action from the Korean War.


Members were informed that Navy and Air Force members have recently been identified as being eligible to wear the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation. Members were also informed of the upcoming Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience exhibition program being held in Sydney in April 2017.

National Consultation Framework Fora (NCF) Update

Members were updated on the NCF Review.

The next meeting of the ESORT will be the Budget briefing on 9 May 2017 in Canberra.

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