Govt co-op­er­a­tion to help vets

Western Suburbs Weekly - - From The Archives - 2017 By JON BAS­SETT

STATE Veter­ans Coun­cil chair­man Max Ball says State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments need to com­mu­ni­cate more to help veter­ans.

“We have to iden­tify where the two gov­ern­ments in­ter­face, be­cause it’s unclear,” Mr Ball told the Western Suburbs Weekly.

In 2014, the 12-mem­ber coun­cil was asked by the for­mer state govern­ment to in­ves­ti­gate get­ting mod­ern veter­ans into civil­ian jobs and to help the home­less who of­ten suf­fer from men­tal ill­ness, but the so­lu­tion is not a Fed­eral Govern­ment re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Ball, a for­mer Army Of­fi­cer, said the State should not take over Fed­eral Govern­ment du­ties for veter­ans be­cause Can­berra’s role was to al­ways look af­ter those ini­tially in its em­ploy­ment.

“What’s en­cour­ag­ing is that last Novem­ber all the States’ veter­ans min­is­ters met with Fed­eral Veter­ans Min­is­ter Dan Tehan, and the Prime Min­is­ter launched his veter­ans em­ploy­ment pro­gram,” Mr Ball said.

How­ever, veter­ans con­tinue to crit­i­cise slow com­pen­sa­tion claims, home­less­ness, lim­ited sup­port mov­ing to civil­ian life and veter­ans groups left unas­sisted or be­ing asked for for­mal data when seek­ing funds, de­spite them of­ten be­ing just peer based.

Mr Ball, who will meet new State Veter­ans Min­is­ter and for­mer Spe­cial Air Ser­vice Reg­i­ment (SASR) of­fi­cer Peter Tin­ley this week, said while the coun­cil was not a veter­ans’ lobby, the new ser­vice­men’s groups, of­ten from mul­ti­ple wars and de­ploy­ments, had to co­a­lesce to deal with Can­berra.

He said bu­reau­cra­cies needed data and facts be­cause they spent public money and the Viet­nam Veter­ans As­so­ci­a­tion was a po­ten­tial model.

Mr Tin­ley said he in­tended to im­prove the State-fed­eral govern­ment in­ter­face by “vig­or­ous par­tic­i­pa­tion” in an­nual veter­ans min­is­ters’ meet­ings and he had al­ready tele­phoned Mr Tehan.

He said WA was “unique” be­cause its SASR and the Navy mem­bers may have done up to nine Mid­dle East tours, from which men­tal health and home­less is­sues would not be seen for some time.

“Pol­icy re­sponses to this so­cial chal­lenge are not al­ways ob­vi­ous and we need to be pre­pared for an across-govern­ment ap­proach when it comes to sup­port­ing those who have com­mit­ted them­selves in the ser­vice of their coun­try,” he said.

As Min­is­ter for Hous­ing, Mr Tin­ley has asked the Hous­ing Author­ity for in­for­ma­tion on how to deal with veter­ans’ home­less­ness.

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