Australian Government, 2012‑13 Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Veterans' Affairs

Anzac Centenary Program 2014‑18

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 12.0 15.1 16.0 6.9
Attorney-General's Department - 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - - - 0.6 0.3
Total - Expense - 12.2 15.3 16.8 7.4
Australian War Memorial - 3.8 18.0 5.2 -

The Government will provide $83.5 million over seven years (including $4.9 million from 2016‑17 to 2018‑19) to fund a program 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, focusing on the centenary of the landing of the first Anzacs at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.

This measure includes:

  • $27.0 million for the refurbishment of the Australian War Memorial's First World War Galleries;
  • $9.5 million for a grants program to help local communities around Australia commemorate the Anzac Centenary;
  • $8.1 million to upgrade and enhance the maintenance of war graves and memorials by the Office of Australian War Graves in the period leading up to the Anzac Centenary;
  • an additional $5.6 million for the construction and fit‑out of the Anzac Interpretive Centre in Albany, Western Australia;
  • $3.4 million to establish an online community portal to share personal stories and provide multimedia resources, including historical film records, interviews, web links and GPS capability, to educate young Australians and families especially about Australia's involvement in the First World War and the Anzac legacy;
  • $4.7 million for an Arts and Culture Fund to support Australian artists and cultural institutions to undertake activities that showcase our military history;
  • $14.4 million to safely and effectively manage the increased demand to attend overseas commemoration services during the Anzac Centenary;
  • $10.4 million to support the work of the Anzac Centenary Advisory Board and its six Working Groups, and fund activities to increase the community's knowledge of the Centenary program and Australia's military history and sacrifice; and
  • $0.5 million to conduct scoping studies for two further projects — an Anzac Centenary community outreach program and a restaging of the first convoy that departed Albany in November, 1914.

Further information can be found in the press releases of 16, 18 and 24 April 2012 issued jointly by the Prime Minister and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of Anzac.

Digital Productivity — Trial of In‑Home Telehealth for Veterans

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - - - -

The Government will provide $8.1 million over four years to trial home‑based telehealth for around 300 veterans living in communities which will be first to benefit from the National Broadband Network.

Commencing in July 2012, the trial will demonstrate the potential for tele‑monitoring and video consultations to improve the management of veterans' complex chronic conditions and reduce preventable hospitalisations.

Funding for this measure was included as a 'decision taken but not yet announced' in the 2011‑12 Budget.

Further information can be found in the press release of 29 November 2011 issued jointly by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

This measure is part of the Government's broader digital economy strategy.

Reclassification of Australian Defence Force service — Operation Quickstep (Tonga)

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - .. .. 0.1 0.1

The Government will provide $0.2 million over four years to recognise the operational service provided by Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel who assisted the Government of Tonga with the restoration of law and order in November 2006 as part of Operation Quickstep (Tonga).

This measure reclassifies the nature of service of Operation Quickstep (Tonga) from 'peacetime' to 'non‑warlike' during the period 17 to 28 November 2006. It will provide around 60 current and former ADF personnel with enhanced access to compensation and health benefits provided under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004.

Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme — New listings and price increases

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs .. .. .. .. ..

The Government has agreed to a number of new listings on the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS) from 1 March 2012. 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 RPBS.

The Government has also agreed to small price increases for suppliers from 1 March 2012 on a range of items already listed on the RPBS.

These changes to RPBS listings will result in a saving of $0.1 million over five years, primarily due to the cost of new items being less than comparable items already listed.

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

Review of Military Compensation Arrangements — Government response

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 2.1 4.5 3.2 2.4
Department of Defence - - 1.2 1.2 1.2
Total - Expense - 2.1 5.7 4.4 3.6
Department of Veterans' Affairs - 1.6 - - -
Department of Defence - - - - -
Total - Capital - 1.6 - - -

The Government will provide $17.4 million over four years (including $1.6 million in capital funding in 2012‑13) to implement its response to the Review of Military Compensation Arrangements (the Review). This funding will improve benefits for members and former members of the Australian Defence Force and their dependants. It will also simplify access to rehabilitation and compensation, and streamline access to medical treatment.

This measure includes:

  • introducing a new method for calculating compensation for transitional permanent impairment claims under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA);
  • providing the Repatriation Health Card for Specific Conditions (the White Card) and supplementary payments for pharmaceuticals to former Australian Defence Force members with chronic health conditions that are accepted under Part XI of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA);
  • providing earlier access to permanent impairment payments under the MRCA for claimants with multiple conditions;
  • increasing the Eligible Young Person periodic payment under the MRCA for compensation following death;
  • increasing the maximum amount of financial assistance available under the MRCA for financial and legal advice, from $1,544 to $2,400, for beneficiaries who have to make a choice about how to receive their benefits; and
  • implementing initiatives to better educate claimants, their representatives, and health providers to ensure that they are well informed about MRCA entitlements in the event of injury or death.

This measure delivers on the Government's election commitment to respond to the Review to ensure services and support for veterans and serving members evolve with their needs.

Suicide awareness and prevention — continuation of Operation Life

Expense ($m)
2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14 2014-15 2015-16
Department of Veterans' Affairs - - 0.1 0.1 0.1

The Government will provide $0.4 million over three years to extend the delivery of Operation Life.

This measure will allow the Veteran and Veterans Families Counselling Service to continue to offer Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, safeTALK and Tune‑Up workshops, which contribute to the prevention of suicide and the promotion of mental health and resilience across the ex‑service community.

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