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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Veterans' Affairs

Anzac Centenary Program 2014‑18 — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 9.1 9.7 11.4 5.2
Attorney‑General's Department 0.3 0.3 0.3
Total — Expense 9.1 10.0 11.7 5.5

The Government will provide $36.4 million over four years in additional funding for a programme of initiatives to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War and the Anzac Centenary. This will assist the community to honour the service and sacrifice of Australians throughout the anniversary period from 2014 to 2018.

The Anzac Centenary Program encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved.

This measure includes:

  • an additional $17.9 million to safely and effectively manage the increased demand to attend overseas commemorative services during the Anzac Centenary;
  • $8.8 million to fund additional domestic commemorative services during the Anzac Centenary;
  • $5.2 million for additional security arrangements for the extended range of overseas and domestic commemorative services being undertaken over the Anzac Centenary period;
  • $3.1 million for the development of smart‑technology applications and documentaries focused on the Australian experience on the Western Front and the legacy of Sir John Monash; and
  • an additional $1.5 million to continue the online education and community awareness portal (Anzac Portal) over the full period of the Anzac Centenary. The online portal will share historical information with the Australian community and will be used to promote awareness of commemorative events.

Dental and Allied Health Provider Fees — continuation of the indexation pause

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑0.9 ‑18.6 ‑27.4 ‑22.7

The Government will achieve savings of $69.6 million over four years by extending the pause on indexation of Department of Veterans' Affairs dental and allied health provider payments until 1 July 2018. This measure extends the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Dental and Allied Health Provider Fees — defer and align indexation.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs will undertake a review of dental and allied health services arrangements specific to the veteran community to complement the broader review of the Medicare Benefits Schedule to be conducted by the Department of Health.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund other veterans' policy priorities.

See also the related expense measure titled Medicare Benefits Schedule — review and reform in the Health Portfolio.

Disposal of Greenslopes Property Queensland

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs nfp

The Government will provide funding to remediate and sell three adjoining blocks of land at Greenslopes, Queensland as the land is now considered to be surplus to Commonwealth needs. The net proceeds of the sale are to be returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The financial implications of this measure are not for publication (NFP) at this time for commercial confidentiality reasons.

Expansion of the Rehabilitation Appliances Program to Enhance the Delivery of Falls Prevention Items

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs

The Government will achieve savings of $62.3 million over five years by transferring most of the items provided under the HomeFront programme into an expanded Rehabilitation Appliances Program. The expanded Rehabilitation Appliances Program will enhance the provision of falls prevention items to veterans by eliminating unnecessary duplication and enabling a more streamlined assessment process for veterans.

The HomeFront programme and the Veterans' Home Maintenance Line programme have been discontinued.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Extension of Trial for In‑Home Telehealth for Veterans

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 2.3 1.4

The Government will provide $3.7 million over two years from 1 July 2015 to extend the duration of the current trial of in‑home telehealth for veterans for another 18 months to support an effective evaluation of the trial.

The trial will continue to demonstrate the potential for telemonitoring and teleconsultations to improve the quality of care and health outcomes for participating veterans.

Increased Number of Case Co‑ordinators

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5

The Government will provide $10.0 million over four years to fund additional case co‑ordinators to expand services to an increasing number of members and former members of the Defence forces with complex needs, particularly those returning from recent conflicts. Case co‑ordinators provide support to clients and their families with complex medical, physical and social needs through a single point of contact.

Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 — single appeal path

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.8 ‑0.4 ‑1.3 ‑1.4
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.1

The Government will achieve savings of $2.2 million over four years by simplifying the appeal process under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA). The new single appeal path to the Veterans' Review Board and then the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will rationalise the appeal process under the MRCA by aligning it with the appeal process under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund other measures to assist veterans.

Official Histories of Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Australian War Memorial 1.6 2.3 2.3 2.3
Australian War Memorial 0.3

The Government will provide $12.7 million over seven years (including $2.4 million in 2019‑20, $1.3 million in 2020‑21, and $0.2 million in 2021‑22) to compile a six‑volume Official History of Australian Operations in Iraq (2003‑11) and Afghanistan (2001‑14) and a one‑volume Official History of Australian Peacekeeping Operations in East Timor (1999‑2012) for publication by July 2022.

The Government will appoint an Independent Official Historian for the Official Histories of Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.

Ongoing Restoration of Funding for Building Excellence in Support and Training Programme

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.0

The Government will provide an additional $1.0 million annually from 1 July 2018 to provide ongoing assistance to ex‑service organisations for advocacy and welfare services to the veteran community.

This measure extends the 2014‑15 Budget measure Building Excellence in Support and Training — additional funding and further delivers on the Government's election commitment.

Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — new listings and price amendments

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1

The Government will provide $0.2 million over five years from 1 June 2015 for new listings on the Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits (the Schedule) and for price amendments for certain medicines already listed on the Schedule. The new listings have been recommended by the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Reference Committee, which advises on the clinical appropriateness of items to be made available under the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).

The RPBS was established to meet the specific clinical needs of veterans with health conditions arising from war or military service.

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 reforms — calculating permanent impairment and the maximum payable

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 4.1 3.9 4.1 4.3
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.1

The Government will provide $16.6 million over four years to improve benefits available to veterans under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (the Act) by introducing a new model for calculating permanent impairment payments that would significantly increase the maximum compensation payable from $243,329 to $350,000.

Australian Defence Force members who claim under Part XI of the Act will not be affected by this measure.

The cost of this measure will be offset by redirecting savings from the related measure Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 reforms — Multiple Injuries Arising Out of the One Event.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 25 March 2015 issued by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Assistant Minister for Defence.

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 reforms — multiple injuries arising out of the one event

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs ‑4.5 ‑5.1 ‑5.3 ‑5.6
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.1

The Government will achieve savings of $20.5 million over four years by amending the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 to enable multiple injuries arising from a single occurrence to be combined for the purpose of calculating permanent impairment compensation.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to fund the related expense measure Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 reforms — Calculating Permanent Impairment and the Maximum Payable.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 25 March 2015 issued by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Assistant Minister for Defence.

Sir John Monash Centre — Villers‑Bretonneux, France

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 1.4 2.1 4.7 2.6
Department of Defence
Total — Expense 1.4 2.1 4.7 2.6
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.1
Department of Defence
Total — Capital 0.1

The Government will provide $99.5 million over four years to construct the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers‑Bretonneux in France as a lasting international legacy of the Centenary of Anzac. The Centre will be an international standard interpretive centre that will explain Australia's involvement in, and significant achievements on, the Western Front during the First World War.

The capital cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Defence. The operational costs of this measure will be met by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Funding for this measure has already been provided for by the Government.

Further information can be found in the press release of 26 April 2015 issued jointly by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

The Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme — enhancement

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Veterans' Affairs 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2

The Government will provide $0.7 million over four years to expand the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (the Scheme) to encourage workforce participation and provide better outcomes for veterans through enhanced medical management and psychological assistance services.

Changes will also be made to the workforce participation guidelines affecting eligibility for Disability Pension so that those veterans receiving a Disability Pension will not be disadvantaged by accessing the enhanced Scheme.