Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Andrew Gee called a press conference this morning to announce his resignation from Federal Cabinet.
CAPTION: Andrew Gee, Minister for Veterans Affairs, addressing media to explain why he was just moments away from resigning from Cabinet.
At least, that was his stated intention when he called the press conference – but the threat of resignation was enough to unlock a promise for the extra DVA funding he was seeking.
Minister Gee made no bones about the fact he was mere moments away from resigning if he didn’t get the money – money he said was desperately needed to address an unacceptably high and growing backlog of claims pending with DVA.
Mr Gee said he had asked for $96 million to clear the DVA-claims backlog by the middle of next year, but discovered that less than a quarter of needed amount had been allocated in next week’s budget.
Answering to the Deputy Prime Minister on the matter, Mr Gee said he told Mr Joyce that the media was waiting outside and, as courtesy, he was letting his leader know in advance that he was going to resign from cabinet.
“[What followed was] quite a bit of activity, and the end result is that the $96 million to help process and clear this backlog of 60,000 claims is now going to be forthcoming,” Mr Gee said.
“I accept that in politics and in life you have to make compromises, but my personal integrity is not up for compromise.”
View Mr Gee’s press conference here…