Federal, state and territory governments have agreed to improve coordination on veterans’ issues and work more cooperatively on data improvement.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said the first-ever meeting between the relevant Ministers for Veterans’ Affairs from each state and territory had focused on transition, homelessness, incarceration and mental health.
Mr Tehan said the ministers agreed:
- that each state and territory would work with the Commonwealth to develop standardised military service history indicators to use in national and jurisdictional data collections for suicide and homelessness. This will improve the quality of data collected and lead to better service delivery.
- to pursue inclusion of a military service related question in the next Census to greatly improve our understanding of the veteran community.
- the Commonwealth will investigate a mechanism to advise states and territories when Australia Defence Force (ADF) personnel are medically-discharged to help better plan the provision of support services.
- the Commonwealth will ensure that all medically-discharged veterans have a Medicare card when they separate from the ADF.
- New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia are collecting data on veteran incarceration and all other states and territories have agreed to explore collecting this data.
- New South Wales and Victoria have specific programs to address veterans’ homelessness, and information on these programs will be shared with all other states and territories.
- state and territory governments will provide information on their services as part of every ADF transition session for personnel leaving the military.
“The first ever meeting of Veterans’ Affairs Ministers has led to a commitment to re-double our efforts tackling the challenges faced by our veterans,” Mr Tehan said.
“The Ministers have agreed to meet with state-based and national ex-service organisations to discuss better coordinating efforts addressing homelessness and other services.
“All levels of Government are providing important support and services to our veterans that recognise their service and sacrifice but we have to ensure we are coordinating our efforts.
“Our veterans will benefit from a more unified approach as a result of getting all the relevant Ministers together in one room to better coordinate services and gather important data.” .