Gympie MP Calls for Urgent Action to Improve the Lives of Veterans: Insights from the Royal Commission

Gympie MP Calls for Urgent Action

Gympie MP Calls for Urgent Action to Improve the Lives of Veterans: Insights from the Royal Commission:

Llew O’Brien, the federal MP for Wide Bay, has called for urgent action to improve the lives of veterans suffering from post-traumatic effects (Gorrie, 2023). O’Brien was responsible for pushing the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans’ Suicides, and he emphasized the need for continued honest investigation into issues like bullying, harassment, trauma, discrimination, abuse, and departmental mismanagement.

The Royal Commission’s interim report revealed the damage these issues have caused to the physical, mental, and psychological wellbeing of serving and ex-service personnel (Gorrie, 2023). O’Brien pointed out that Australia owes a debt of gratitude to its service and ex-service personnel for securing the country’s freedom, but successive governments have failed to honor that debt for so many veterans (Gorrie, 2023).

In particular, O’Brien called for the government to reorganize and simplify the laws on veteran compensation to prevent veterans from dying before their entitlements are sorted out (Gorrie, 2023). This was recommendation Number One from the Royal Commission, and O’Brien welcomed the government’s promise last week to implement it (Gorrie, 2023). However, there was much more going on that needed continuing honest investigation, he said.

“The Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide Interim Report shines a light on bullying, harassment, trauma, discrimination, abuse and departmental mismanagement,” O’Brien said (Gorrie, 2023). “It also exposed the damage this caused to the physical, mental and psychological wellbeing of serving and ex-service personnel.”

O’Brien believes that substantial reforms are needed to fix the culture, structures, and systems that have caused so much damage to veterans (Gorrie, 2023). He called for urgent action to be taken to address the issues raised in the interim report, which include the transition from service to civilian life, rehabilitation and compensation programs, and claims processing (Gorrie, 2023). The interim report makes it clear that there are no excuses for inaction or delays (Gorrie, 2023).

“The Government must move quickly to accept and act on the recommendations made in the interim report to start to heal this broken system ahead of the release of the Royal Commission’s final report,” O’Brien said (Gorrie, 2023). “This starts with the implementation of the first recommendation to harmonise and streamline the myriad of Acts that governs veterans’ entitlements, which has been accepted and should be operational by 1 July 2025, in line with the recommendation.”

O’Brien thanked the Royal Commission for its work and acknowledged everyone who has come forward and shared their story (Gorrie, 2023). He understands that this has been an extremely painful and distressing experience, and he hopes that the government will listen and implement the changes needed to improve the lives of veterans (Gorrie, 2023).

In conclusion, the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans’ Suicides has brought to light the damage caused to veterans by issues like bullying, harassment, trauma, discrimination, abuse, and departmental mismanagement (Gorrie, 2023). Llew O’Brien, the federal MP for Wide Bay, has called for urgent action to be taken to address these issues and improve the lives of veterans.

References:

Gorrie, A. (2023, February 23). ‘Action now’ call on veteran rights. Gympie Today. https://gympietoday.com.au/news/2023/02/23/action-now-call-on-veteran-rights/

Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans’ Suicide. (2023). Interim report. Australian Government. https://www.rcdvs.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-02/Interim%20Report.pdf


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