Skip to Content

ESO Round Table - summary of meeting 15 August 2013

The Ex-Service Organisation (ESO) Round Table met for the 23rd time in Canberra on 15 August 2013.  Mr Shane Carmody, acting Chair welcomed members and representatives to the meeting. 

The following member submissions were discussed:

Soldier Recovery Centre

One member raisedconcerns regarding Reservists access to Soldier Recovery Centres.  Members were informed that Reservists injured in any way because of their service are entitled to have their treatment funded by the Commonwealth Government.  Soldier Recovery Centres were established to provide ongoing care and management for long term needs not as treatment facilities.  Reservists are encouraged to attend an on base medical centre for any medical issues, whether it is mental or physical or call 1800 I AM SICK (1800 426 7485).

MRCA Terminology

One member raised a question regarding the terminology used to describe widow(er)s and partners who are compensated for the death of a veteran or member of the Australian Defence Force.  Feedback from the consultation process was not compelling therefore a legislative change to the terminology was not supported.  The consultation process identified the term “death benefit” would be replaced with “compensation following death”.

VEA Offsetting

The Round Table discussed the implementation of the new methodology used to calculate permanent impairment compensation and the progress of the retrospective recalculations.

Members were advised the new methodology recommended by the Review of the Military Compensation Arrangements was implemented on 1 July 2013.  Recalculation of compensation assessments made between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2013 using the new methodology will commence in January 2014.  Mr Bayles advised if the new calculated rate is less than the current rate, the current rate will continue for retrospective payments.

Impact of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on existing support arrangements

Members were advised  the NDIS Scheme had been renamed to DisabilityCare Australia.  Dr McPaul advised that DVA has been working closely with Department of Families, Health, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to ensure that the needs of the veteran community are considered in the development of DisabilityCare policies and there will be no reduction in benefits or services that eligible veterans and war widows/widowers are entitled to receive through DVA.

Departmental updates included: 

Refining the Appeal Process to a Single Pathway and the Future of Veterans’ Advocacy

Two discussion papers were circulated on 18 June 2013 for consultation and remain open until 30 September 2013.  Members advised their respective organisations were considering the papers and would provide comments by the due date.

Training and Information Program (TIP) Accreditation Working Party

The Working Party on TIP accreditation was formed and advised that TIP has implemented a 10 year plan which included moving accreditation from an information exchange style to a competency based style of learning.  The joint objective is to ensure all veterans receive all of their entitlements.

BEST Funding – Round 15 outcomes and future steps for Round 16

141 applications were received for Round 15 compared to 194 in BEST Round 14.  135 successful applications were approved by the Minister on 7 July 2013.  BEST Round 15 included 15 new applications that did not apply for BEST Round 14. The workload funding formula developed in consultation with the ESO RT members for BEST Round 14 (2012-2013) was acknowledged as a transparent and equitable way to calculate grants and this would be continued for BEST Round 15. 

Establishment of a regulation under the MRCA to support the provision of information from DVA to the Defence Abuse Response Team (DART)

A Memorandum of Understanding is being developed between DVA and the DART. Regular meetings between DVA and DART will continue to ensure the processes and support for applicants remains relevant and aligned.

Anzac Centenary update and Managing Attendance 2015

Members were advised that the Anzac Centenary Public Fund is now open and receiving funds. Monies raised through the Public Fund will help to implement a variety of commemorative events with focus on the travelling exhibition and major State / Territory projects.

The Gallipoli 2015 ballot arrangements are expected to be open for registrations on 1 November 2013 and will close on 31 January 2014.  Advice will be provided to individuals on the ballot outcome in March 2014.

Ticketek was the successful tenderer for providing the ballot and ticketing services.

Consultation Framework Review update

The survey on the National Consultation Framework has concluded and results have been analysed.  A draft report has been compiled for consideration by the Steering Committee, with recommendations to be provided to the Secretary for consideration.

National Consultation Forum updates

Emerging themes discussed at the Deputy Commissioners’ Consultation Forums included; VVCS eligibility, TIP, BEST funding and the role of advocates and Single Appeal Pathway and Future of Veterans Advocacy.

National Broadband Network and Personal Response Units (PRS)

DVA met with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) in July 2013.  DBCDE advised that one major Telco will be developing a fixed line service as a part of the NBN rollout. 

Changes to Application Forms for Qualifying Service and Education Assistance

The Education Schemes and Qualifying Service forms have been approved by the Repatriation Commission and are in the process of publication for distribution.  The changes consolidated the various Qualifying Service forms into four primary forms and three supplementary forms.

Report on the Care of ADF Personnel Wounded and Injured on Operations

The Joint Steering Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report in Parliament entitled ‘Care of the ADF Personnel Wounded and Injured on Operations’ on 24 June 2013.  The report and its 25 recommendations for Defence and DVA are being examined in order for the Government to provide a full and considered response.

Soldier On

Ms Karlie Brand, Chief Operations Officer of Soldier On explained the role of Soldier On and its vision to give wounded Australians access to the world’s best standard of care and support. 

Defence Abuse Response Taskforce

The Honourable Len Roberts-Smith RFD, QC, Chair of the Defence Abuse Response Team (DART) provided an update on the Taskforce and advice regarding the reparation payment.  He advised individuals must meet specific criteria assessed by an Independent Reparations Assessor to be eligible to receive a reparation payment. 

Office of Australian War Graves

Updates were provided on the progress of the Australian Remembrance Trail, the Australian National Memorial in New Zealand, the Vietnam Veterans Education Centre, the Honouring Our War Dead Program and the replacement of 248 damaged headstones at the Bengahzi War Cemetery, fully funded by the Libyan government.

The Chair thanked members for their contributions and advised the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, 14 November 2013.

The meeting closed at 4.20pm.

Average: 1.5 (6 votes)