Response to claims that DVA has ‘pulled funding’ for the ongoing maintenance of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) previously provided annual funding of $186,000 through the Special Veterans’ Services Agreement (SVS) with the Concord Repatriation General Hospital (RGH), which covered both clinical and non-clinical programs. As part of the non-clinical component, a line item provided the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway (KTMW) with $44,000.
The SVS Agreement with Concord RGH ceased on 30 June 2019, at which time all clinical components moved to the main Hospital Services Arrangement with the New South Wales Ministry of Health. DVA advised Concord RGH verbally on 1 June 2017 and then in writing on 3 August 2017 and 13 April 2018 that the Agreement would not be renewed.
DVA has committed to supporting the transition of the maintenance of the KTMW for an additional three years, with annual funding of $44,000, or $132,000 over three years. As with all organisations, the Concord RGH and KTMW can apply for grants and DVA notes the recent approval of a $95,000 grant to KTMW under the Saluting their Service program to record memories and personal stories of Second World War veterans using virtual reality and augmented technology.
We encourage the KTMW to seek further funding through NSW Government, local government and the ex-service community.