Veterans affairs minister Dan Tehan was in North Dandalup on Saturday explaining to the region’s veterans the $350 million package for former service men and women announced in the federal budget.
The new funding included an expansion of mental health services for current and former Australian Defence Force (ADF) members and health care for Australian veterans of the 1950s British atomic weapons tests in Western Australia’s North West.
Canning MP Andrew Hastie, who hosted the barbecue for Mr Tehan at the North Dandalup Tavern, said it was important veterans had access to their minister.
“I’m pleased the minister could be here to meet local veterans and answer their questions,” he said.
“Governments that front up and are accountable to the people are exactly what these men and women were prepared to fight and die for.”
Mr Tehan said the $350 million package was a significant increase in funding and demonstrated the government’s commitment to service men and women.
“The government is focused on responding to the mental health needs of our former ADF personnel and providing support that will help them to achieve a fulfilling post-service life,” he said.
“In last year’s Budget, we made treatment for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and drug and alcohol misuse free for anyone who had served a day in the full-time ADF.”
Mr Tehan said the new money in this years budget would mean veterans would not have to prove their mental health condition is related to their service.
“The funding for mental health treatment is demand-driven and not capped – if an eligible person requires treatment, it will be paid for,” he said.