Australian Government, 2010‑11 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Veterans' Affairs

Centenary of ANZAC — seed funding

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - - - -

The Government will provide $2.3 million over four years to plan the commemoration activities to mark the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015.

The cost of the proposal will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Clarke Review — lower the age to establish domicile to under 21 years for British Commonwealth and Allied veterans

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - .. .. .. ..
Department of Health and Ageing - .. .. .. ..
Total - 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2

The Government will provide $700,000 over four years to allow those persons who were under 21 years of age at the time of their enlistment in a British Commonwealth and Allied (BCAL) force to establish domicile in Australia. In the absence of the legal concept of Australian citizenship until 1949, the domicile provision was adopted as a means of determining whether a BCAL veteran could be regarded as an Australian at the time of enlistment. This decision will now give these people access to the same benefits, under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, as those BCAL veterans who were 21 years of age or older when they enlisted.

This measure implements a previously unimplemented recommendation of the 2003 Review of Veterans' Entitlements (the Clarke Review).

Clarke Review — provide Australian Defence Force British nuclear test participants with compensation equivalent to non‑warlike or hazardous service

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.1 8.6 8.6 9.8 11.0
Department of Health and Ageing - -0.6 -0.6 -0.7 -0.8
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - -2.4 -2.7 -3.0 -3.3
Total 0.1 5.7 5.3 6.2 7.0

The Government will provide $24.2 million over five years to provide Australian Defence Force British nuclear test participants with the equivalent of non-warlike or hazardous service under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. This measure recognises the unique nature of these tests and the service in these operations involved hazards beyond those of normal peacetime duties.

As a result of this measure, participants will have their claims to veterans entitlements, such as the disability pension and health care cards, assessed under the more generous "reasonable hypothesis" standard of proof.

This measure implements a previously unimplemented recommendation of the 2003 Review of Veterans' Entitlements (the Clarke Review).

Clarke Review — reclassify submarine special operations that were conducted in the period 1978 to 1992 as warlike service

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 1.8 3.1 4.2 6.0
Department of Health and Ageing - .. .. .. ..
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations - -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - -0.6 -0.6 -0.6 -0.7
Total - 0.8 2.1 3.2 5.0

The Government will provide $11.1 million over four years to recognise the operational service provided by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who rendered service on board submarines during special operations between 1978 and 1992.

A Department of Defence review has determined that there is sufficient new evidence to upgrade the service status of these ADF personnel.

This measure will provide around 880 personnel with access to a range of income and health support measures provided under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Some personnel and their partners will transfer to Veterans' Affairs payments from payments made under the Social Security Act 1991, while others will have their health care needs provided through enhanced compensation arrangements.

This measure implements a previously unimplemented recommendation of the 2003 Review of Veterans' Entitlements (the Clarke Review).

Extend qualifying service to service in Ubon for the period 31 May 1962 to 27 July 1962

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.9
Department of Health and Ageing - -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - -0.9 -1.0 -1.0 -1.1
Total - 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.7

The Government will provide $2.7 million over four years to recognise the operational service provided by Australian Defence Force personnel who rendered service at Ubon Airbase in Thailand from 31 May 1962 to 27 July 1962. During this period Royal Australian Air Force personnel were on a heightened state of alert to respond to a perceived imminent threat from hostile forces.

A Department of Defence review into the Ubon RAAF operation has determined that there is sufficient new evidence to upgrade the service status of the operation to qualifying service for the period 31 May 1962 to 27 July 1962. This measure will provide around 220 personnel with access to a greater range of income and health support measures provided under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986. Some personnel and their partners will transfer to Veterans' Affairs payments from payments made under the Social Security Act 1991, while others will have their health care needs provided through enhanced compensation arrangements.

F‑111 Deseal/Reseal maintenance workers — further support

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs 2.2 18.4 13.3 11.8 11.1
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs .. .. .. .. ..
Department of Health and Ageing .. -0.3 -0.4 -0.5 -0.5
Total 2.1 18.1 12.8 11.3 10.6

The Government will provide $55.0 million over five years as part of its response to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the concerns of F‑111 Deseal/Reseal maintenance workers. The Parliamentary Inquiry Report was tabled on 25 June 2009.

The measure will assist Air Force personnel who have been adversely affected by their service in repairing and maintaining the fuel tanks of F‑111 aircraft in a procedure known as Deseal/Reseal. The Government's response will ensure that a greater number of personnel who have been adversely affected by their service in F‑111 fuel tank maintenance will now have access to additional health care and compensation.

This measure will provide funding for:

  • improved access to compensation and health care under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA) and the Study of Health Outcomes in Aircraft Maintenance Personnel (SHOAMP) Health Care Scheme, for personnel temporarily posted to one or more of the maintenance squadrons that carried out sealant rework during the period 1973 to 2000, and to personnel who served in Squadrons 3AD or 501WG and who undertook similar fuel tank entry and sealant rework;
  • removing the previous cut‑off date of 20 September 2005 for applicants to submit claims under the SHOAMP Health Care Scheme. This will enable new personnel to gain access to the scheme and allow for health conditions that have a latency period before onset to be included;
  • group counselling sessions to F‑111 fuel tank workers and their families;
  • the review of cases where statutory declarations had been rejected under the former ex‑gratia scheme. This would address the concerns of some F‑111 workers and their families who believe that an absence of official records has resulted in some applicants inappropriately missing out on ex‑gratia payments and/or access to health care and compensation;
  • removing the requirement to exclude the estates of those who died prior to 8 September 2001, from accessing the ex‑gratia scheme;
  • a specialised implementation team and the provision of expert assistance in processing claims. This function will be undertaken by the Department of Veterans' Affairs; and
  • the development of a comprehensive website by the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans' Affairs, dedicated to F‑111 aircraft maintenance workers' issues.

Preventable Admissions and Improved Community Care program

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. 8.6 -10.2 -38.4 -54.2
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 0.5 0.9 - -

The Government will provide $152.7 million over five years for a new preventable admissions and improved community care program to assist veterans with chronic health conditions, such as coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. This measure will improve the care of veterans with chronic conditions and help reduce the level of unnecessary hospital admissions.

Under this measure, general practitioners will receive incentive payments to design a health care plan, coordinate care and ensure that a holistic approach to the management of chronic conditions is undertaken. General practitioners will be assisted by practice/community nurses who will conduct home visits, coordinate appointments with general practitioners and specialists, as well as assist veterans to self‑monitor and self‑manage their conditions. Veteran involvement in the program will be voluntary. This measure also includes an expansion of existing services under the Veterans' Home Care program and the introduction of new social support services for veterans with chronic conditions.

This measure is expected to reduce hospital costs by $245.4 million over five years by reducing veteran hospital admissions, resulting in net savings of $92.8 million over five years.

Veterans' Ambulance Travel Funding — changed fee arrangements

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - - - -

The Government will negotiate new fee arrangements with States and Territories for veterans' ambulance travel funding to address the current disparity in charges between States and Territories for these services.

Under this measure, existing Commonwealth funding arrangements for ambulance travel will be replaced with a nationally consistent flat fee for each eligible veteran or dependant.

Provision for savings from this measure has already been included in the forward estimates and the Contingency Reserve.

War Widow/er pension — removal of entitlement for new claimants who enter a de facto relationship

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs - .. 0.1 0.1 0.2
Department of Health and Ageing - .. .. .. ..
Department of Veterans' Affairs - -0.1 -0.3 -0.6 -0.8
Total - -0.1 -0.3 -0.4 -0.6

The Government will remove eligibility for the War Widow/ers Pension for people who, before applying for the War Widow/ers Pension, enter a de facto relationship following the death of their veteran partner.

This measure will remove an anomaly which currently exists under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986, which allows widow/ers who have entered into a de facto relationship following the death of the veteran partner to claim War Widow/ers Pension entitlements, while those who have since married cannot. By removing this inconsistency, neither war widow/ers who enter a de facto relationship nor those who marry following the death of their veteran spouse, before applying for the War Widow/ers Pension, will be eligible to receive war widow/er entitlements.

War widow/ers who remarry or enter a de facto relationship after claiming a war widow/ers Pension will not lose their entitlement under this measure.

This measure will result in savings of $1.4 million over four years.

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