No compo for parents of dead soldiers Military rehab review
THE parents of dead soldiers should not a u t o m a t i c a l l y g e t compassionate cash payments, a review of military compensation recommends.
The review also says Australian Federal Police on high r i s k o v e r s e a s m i s s i o n s should not be part of the m i l i t a r y c o m p e n s a t i o n scheme.
Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon said the review panel determined that the current rehabilit ation and compensation scheme for service personnel and their families was based on sound principles. How- ever, it could be improved.
‘‘ This review is a significant step by the government towards addressing concerns raised about military rehabilitation and compensation legislation that was introduced in 2004,’’ he said.
‘‘ The steering committee reported that there are no fundamental flaws in what is a complex and relatively new scheme.’’
The review, launched in 2009, stemmed from a Labor election promise and followed complaints about complexity and discrepancies in the 2004 Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act. The review committee made 108 recommendations with about a third requiring legislative change.
A compassionate payment scheme was referred to the committee by former prime minister Kevin Rudd and def ence personnel minister Warren Snowdon with the idea that payments could be ma d e t o n o n - d e p e n d a n t parents and other family members o f s e r v i c e men killed on duty.
‘‘ Public emotion generated by a death of an ADF member can be accompanied by concern about the adequacy of the compensation and sup- port provided to bereaved family members, particularly in circumstances where the ADF is at fault, or perceived to be at fault,’’ the committee said.
But it said such a scheme would go further than any other compensation scheme and be very difficult to administer fairly.
It concluded it could potentially cause more problems than it solved.
However, Defence would retain the ability to make such payment on a case-bycase basis.
Ex-service pressed f or organisations standardised compensation for injuries caused in training or on operational service.
The committee took the view that the unique and risky nature of operational service justified higher compensation.
It recommended simplifying the compensation package for dependants in event of the death of a service member.