Departmental response to Daily Telegraph

The Veterans’ Ministerial Council

16 July 2019

The Veterans’ Ministerial Council is made up of state and territory ministers who have responsibility for veterans’ issues, with Federal Minister for Veterans Darren Chester as chair. 

The Council is focused on improving the way different levels of government work together to address veterans’ issues, including transition from military service to civilian life, homelessness and other services, mental health and suicide, veterans’ employment, and commemoration. 

The Council was established as a roundtable in 2016 and has recently been re-formed as a ministerial council. 

Some issues that have been addressed include the common definition of a veteran to be anyone with at least one day of full time service with the Australian Defence Force that is to be recognised by all jurisdictions (and not limited by the definition contained in existing legislation). The council has also agreed on the need to include a question about veterans in the Australian Census (November 2017) and strongly endorsed the need for a veteran indicator to be included in the 2021 Census (October 2018).

The next meeting is scheduled for 23 August and the focus will be on key issues like veterans’ mental health, suicide prevention and successful transitions from the ADF.