AVN.Live: Royal Commission panel discussion and highlights, streaming from 7.30pm 14 December 2021

Join Bill Westhead, Eamon Hale and me for our live YouTube stream 7.30pm Tuesday the 14th December for an update and discussion on the hearings of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

In this first episode of our ongoing coverage of the Royal Commission, we’ll recap its history and take a closer look at key issues raised in the testimonies of lived-experience witnesses and experts working to support veterans and their families.

The Royal Commission is taking a trauma-informed approach and it’s our intention to do likewise. Our coverage is not seeking to amplify anger or sensationalise the issues raised by the commission. Accordingly, the live chat will be moderated and we trust that our audience will take great care with their questions and will contribute to the discussion mindful of the potential impact on others.

Viewers will need to subscribe to the AVN YouTube channel to be able to use the online chat feature.

Australia faces supply chain crisis over diesel additive shortage

Trucking industry limping along with lack of AdBlue

Australia is facing a potential supply chain crisis if it cannot source the fuel additive ‘AdBlue’ before stock runs out in February 2022.

The world is experiencing an acute shortage of urea (the critical ingredient of AdBlue) after one of the largest producers in China banned global exports in a bid to protect the domestic Chinese fertiliser market.

Urea is used to create diesel exhaust fluid, also known as AdBlue, which is required for most diesel vehicles built after 2015 to run properly. AdBlue is a mix of 32% high-quality urea and 68% de-ionised water which was incorporated to reduce emissions. Use of AdBlue varies of 1 L per 563 – 965 km.

Australia does not manufacture high-quality urea (only low quality, not suitable for AdBlue).

If a vehicle runs out of AdBlue, it will revert to ‘limp mode’. The majority of diesel vehicles on the road in Australia come with a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system which uses AdBlue to convert nitrogen oxides in the fuel to water and nitrogen in an effort to significantly reduce emissions.

The Australian trucking industry, which forms the backbone of the food supply chain, uses hundreds of thousands of litres of AdBlue every week. It is also required for critical agricultural machinery and diesel four-wheel drives.

As soon as it gets out there that the AdBlue [shortage] isn’t just going to stop all the trucks, it’s also going to stop all the shelves being restocked, their servos being restocked, everyone’s going to go, ‘I really should fill up my tank and fill up my toilet paper. And everything is going to go in a day,” said Lydon Watson, CEO of Don Watson Transport.

It’s not going to deplete over the course of a couple of weeks, or months. The population will skin it dry in a day.”

While technically possible to disable the SCR system, it is presently illegal to do so and would require politicians to issue a legal clarification.

The government is aware of the concerns around the supply and availability of AdBlue, and is continuing to monitor the situation while working with industry,” said a spokesperson for the Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Barnaby Joyce.

Truck operators are being encouraged to operate as normal despite industry concerns.

An urgent meeting will take place between industry leaders and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications on Wednesday.

Older trucks are not at risk, as they do not have ‘environmentally friendly’ efficiency systems attached to their engines and will continue to operate as normal.

Other countries across the world are experiencing similar problems. Both Europe and America face imminent shortages, while South Korean authorities have started rationing their supply to extend it for as long as possible. Officials fear that if they cannot secure more urea soon, the South Korean economy could be brought to a crashing halt.

There are more than 10 million diesel vehicles in Korea, and we have only three months’ stock of urea at maximum. If the shortage of urea continues longer-term, all production of goods and services can be affected,” said Kim Sei-wan, who is a professor of economics at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul.

Urea is not a difficult chemical to produce but South Korea, like many other countries in the world, found it cheaper to import it from China and shut their domestic factories.

 

Here is another lesson to be learnt … We must manufacture here in Australia!

THE EAST IS RED, THE SUN IS RISING..

Sailing the seas depends on the Helmsman.” CCP revolutionary song.

WHILE the world divides like World Cup fans deciding who supports China over Taiwan or not, a major crisis exists far closer to home. PNG, Australian and now NZ peacekeepers have deployed to Honiara to assist Solomon Islands police deal with internal political dissent, although that is a simplistic description of a complex situation.

Senior Papua New Guineans are deeply troubled by events in the Solomons, which forms the southern part of the island chain that includes Bougainville, formerly a PNG province and now an independent republic.

In exactly the same way fluid family relationships exist across the Australian – PNG border in the Torres Strait, so boundaries originally established by accidental colonial history mean nothing to people related by blood in the whole Solomons Islands chain.

To continue reading click link:

China influence in Solomon Islands matter of concern | Australian Defence History, Policy and Veterans Issues (targetsdown.blogspot.com)

 

 

Repatriation health cards

There are three types of cards:

White card

The white card enables entitled members of the veteran community to obtain health care and related services for accepted war-caused injuries or diseases, and also for non war-caused conditions detailed below. All veterans are issued with a white card for the treatment of anxiety and/or depression. A white card is issued to Australian veterans or mariners with:

  • an accepted war or service caused injury or disease
  • malignant cancer (neoplasia) whether war caused or not
  • pulmonary tuberculosis whether war-caused or not
  • post traumatic stress disorder whether war-caused or not
  • anxiety disorder whether war caused or not
  • depression whether war caused or not

DVA must be notified and provided with a confirmed diagnosis from a suitably qualified medical practitioner, if you are diagnosed with a malignant cancer (neoplasia), pulmonary tuberculosis, PTSD, anxiety disorder or depression to be accepted for treatment, it is not automatic.

The white card is also issued to ex-service personnel who are eligible for treatment under agreements between the Australian Government and New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom for disabilities accepted as war-caused by their country of origina. Note: Services available to these veterans may be different from those available to Australian veterans.

For information on all white card conditions, see DVA fact sheet HSV61.

Gold card

The gold card enables entitled members of the veteran community to obtain health care and related services for all their identified health care needs, whether they are war-caused or not. A gold card is issued to those who:

  • are ex-prisioners of war
  • receive a diability pension at or above 100 per cent of the general rate
  • receive a disability pension at or above 50 per cent of the general rate and also receive any amount of service pension
  • receive a disability pension, including an additional amount under section 27 of the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 for specific service-related amputations or blindness in one eye
  • receive a service pension and satisfy the treatments benefits eligibility income and assets test
  • receive a service pension and are permanently blind in both eyes
  • received a disability pension for pulmonary tuberculosis before 2 November 1978

Certain dependants are also eligible for a gold card:

  • a war widow or widower and dependent children under 16 of a deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused
  • a child of a deceased veteran whose death was not war-caused and who had operational service, if the child is not being cared for by the remaining parent
  • a dependent child, between the ages of 16 and 25, of a deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused, and the child is undergoing full-time education recognised by the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme
  • an invalid child of a deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused, who had treatment entitlement before 6 June 1985
  • a widowed mother or widowed step-mother who was dependent on an unmarried deceased veteran whose death has been accepted as war-caused, who had treament entitlement before 6 June 1985

For infomation on all gold card conditions, see DVA fact sheet HSV60.

Orange card

An orange card is issued to British Commonwealth and Allied veterans and mariners who have been a resident in Australia for ten years or more.

The orange card allows holders to access the full range of pharmaceuticals and dressing on the RPBS. It is not a treatment card, that is, it does not allow card holders access to health care at no cost to themselves.

For information on all orange card conditions, see DVA fact sheet HSV69.

 

Free training for veterans and their partners

A key area of the Veterans Strategy is Education and Employment to ensure our veterans find the right job or training post-service.

The Veterans Employment Program have produced two videos to help veterans in their search and application for NSW Government jobs. The videos explain how to use VEP’s Rank to Grade Guide and Capability Definition Tool and are part of a suite of tools and resources to support veterans adjust to life as a civilian.

The landmark Veterans Skills Program provides veterans and their partners free access to any course offered under the Government’s Smart and Skilled program from a Certificate II to Advanced Diplomas, including all apprenticeships and selected traineeships from over 450 Registered Training Organisations including NSW TAFE.

Explore the course and provider options on the education.nsw.gov.au portal at education.nsw.gov.au/skills-nsw/veterans#search-providers

The War started in the 7th Century and lasted through the 17th Century.

The following article comes from a veteran mate in the USA and was published in his Daily Paper. It relates to the fact Airport Security Screeners will NO longer be allowed to PROFILE certain people.

 

The War started in the 7th Century and lasted through the 17th Century.

Many will contend it never stopped; the facts enumerated below are historically correct.

That is why many of us choke when we hear someone say we will defeat or contain these Islamic Terrorists in a few years, or even “30 years” as has been stated by Leon Panetta.

If the latest batch of murders, beheadings, and killing of innocent Christians have at all shocked you, it is time for you to read this compilation of historical facts about the intense hatred that Muslims have for YOU and ALL who are “NOT” Muslims!

WE ARE STUPID!

In 732 A.D., the Muslim Army, which was moving on Paris, was defeated and turned back at Tours, France, by Charles Martell.

In 1571 A.D, the Muslim Army/Navy was defeated by the Italians and Austrians as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to attack Southern Europe in the Battle of Lepanto.

In 1683 A.D, the Turkish Muslim Army, attacking Eastern Europe, was finally defeated in the Battle of Vienna by German and Polish Christian Armies.

This nonsense has been going on for close to 1,400 years!

The sad thing is that more than half of all politicians do not even know any of this. If these Battles had not been WON, we would most likely be speaking Arabic and Christianity could now be non-existent. Judaism certainly would NOT exist!

Reality check: A lot of us have become so insulated from reality that we imagine that we Christians can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to ourselves! Think back: The following events are true historical facts. It has been many years since 1968, but history keeps repeating itself.

  1. In 1968, Robert Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male.
  2. In 1972, at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were Kidnapped and Massacred by Muslim males.
  3. In 1972, a Pan Am 747 was Hijacked and eventually diverted to Cairo where a fuse was lit on its final approach. Shortly after landing, it was blown up by Muslim males.
  4. In 1973, a Pan Am 707 was destroyed in Rome with 33 Passengers killed, when it was attacked with grenades by Muslim males.
  5. In 1979, the United States Embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim males.
  6. During the 1980s, several Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim males.
  7. In 1983, the United States Marine Barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim males.
  8. In 1985, the Cruise Ship, ‘Achille-Lauro’ was hijacked, and a 70-year-old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim males.
  9. In 1985, TWA Flight 847 was hijacked in Athens, and a United States Navy Diver, who was trying to rescue passengers -was murdered by Muslim males.
  10. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim males.
  11. In 1993, the World Trade Centre was bombed for the first time by Muslim males.
  12. In 1998, the United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim males.
  13. On 09/11/01, four Airliners were Hijacked. Two of the planes were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centres… One plane crashed into the United States Pentagon, and the other plane was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim males.
  14. In 2002, the United States and its allies fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim males.
  15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by a Muslim male. (Plus two other American journalists who had just recently been Beheaded.)
  16. In 2013, the Boston Marathon Bombing resulted in four innocent people, including a child, being killed and 264 other people injured by Muslim males.

NO, I do not see a pattern here to justify profiling, do YOU?

So, to ensure Americans never offend anyone – particularly fanatics intent on killing us: Airport Security Screeners will NO longer be allowed to PROFILE certain people.

So, ask yourself: “Just how stupid are we Americans?”

Have Americans completely lost their minds or just their “Power of Reason?”

The writer of the Award Winning story “Forrest Gump” so aptly put it, “Stupid is as Stupid does.”

Important changes to invalidity pensions commenced after 20 September 2007

Following a ruling of the Federal Court in December 2020, invalidity pensions payable under the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits (DFRDB) Scheme and the Military Superannuation and Benefits (MSB) Scheme (commenced on or after 20 September 2007) will be taxed as superannuation lump sum payments.

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been processing amendments for past tax returns of impacted individuals who have opted-in as part of its remediation program.

Initial round of amendments

As of the end of September, the ATO has amended over 4,000 income tax assessments for individuals that either opted-in to the first phase of its amendment process or had an existing objection with them, around 60% of the individuals who opted-in to having their assessment(s) amended.

If you opted-in but have not yet had your amendments finalised, you do not need to call the ATO for an update. If your amendments have yet to be processed, it is likely because your circumstances are more complex. The ATO is working through the remaining amendments and expects to have all amendments completed shortly.

Next round of amendments

If you are affected by the Court decision and did not opt-in under the ATO’s initial amendment process, it’s not too late to have your assessments for prior years amended. The ATO will begin the next round of its amendment program from late October by contacting affected individuals who did not initially opt-in.

What do you need to do?

There are actions you should take now if you would like to have your assessments amended:

  • Ensure that the contact details that the ATO has for you are up to date so you do not miss correspondence and so that you can be contacted you if the ATO requires additional information.
  • Apply to Commonwealth Superannuation Corporate (CSC) for a determination if you believe you qualify for a disability concession. By doing this before you take part in the streamlined amendment process you will ensure that that the disability concession is taken into account as part of your amendments upfront.
  • Lodge any outstanding income tax returns as the ATO cannot amend what has not been lodged.
  • Consider seeking financial advice in relation to your personal circumstances as it is your choice as to whether you want to participate in the ATO’s amendment process.

For more information or to receive ongoing updates about the streamlined amendment process, please visit the ATO military superannuation webpage at ato.gov.au/militarysuper.

Russia Tests Hypersonic Missile From Submarine

The Russian Navy performed the first-ever test launch of a Tsirkon-class hypersonic missile from the Yasen-class nuclear-powered submarine.

According to the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD), the missiles were fired from Yasen-class submarine K-560 Severodvinsk in the Barents Sea. The first launch was performed from a surfaced position, while the second one was from a depth of 40 meters.

“According to the objective monitoring data, the flight course of the missile has matched the specified parameters. The conditional target has been hit,” Russian MoD reported.

Tsirkon missiles are intended to arm Russian cruisers, frigates and submarines, and capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound while reaching a range of 1,000 kilometres, according to the Russian authorities.

Yasen-class submarines are being built by Russia’s Sevmash shipyard for the Russian Navy. Severodvinsk is the first of what is expected to be a class of ten Project 885 submarines. It was delivered to the Russian Navy in 2013, twenty years after it was laid down in 1993. Following sea trials, the submarine was commissioned in 2014.

The submarines can be deployed in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, surveillance operations and special missions.

Based on the Akula-class and Alfa-class designs, the Yasen-class is projected to replace the Russian Navy’s current Soviet-era nuclear attack submarines.