RSL CALLS FOR URGENT ACTION
Following the Commission’s interim report into Defence and Veteran Suicide, the RSL urged immediate action from the Australian government and Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The Returned & Services League of Australia (RSL) confirmed this week that the organisation supports the commission’s recommendations that the Commonwealth and DVA take steps to immediately rectify problems in the claims process, and provide the necessary funding required to address the process’ shortfalls.
According to a release from the RSL, the league is also “pleased” to observe the inclusion of the DVA process as a recommendation in the Royal Commission after calls to improve the claims process.
The RSL also acknowledged the need for improvement in the ex-service organisation (ESO) sector, with RSL Australia president Greg Melick reiterating the organisation’s ongoing commitment to helping the commissioners, ESOs and stakeholders improve the lives of Australia’s servicemen.
“Although it has not appeared as one of the interim report’s urgent recommendations, the RSL acknowledges that a key theme emerging from the Royal Commission hearings is the complexity our veterans face when accessing support services. This issue is one that is of particular concern to us,” Melick said.
“The RSL is committed to promptly addressing the issues and priorities of our Defence community; this is the reason why the RSL will be establishing a forum later this year that brings together stakeholders from across the ESO ecosystem. This will take place in November and provide an opportunity for us, as a sector that exists to serve the needs of veterans and their families, to identify ways we can collectively work together in a structure and manner that better fulfills this purpose.
“With its network of 150,000 members, 1,150 sub-branches, and a 105-year history, the RSL has the experience, expertise, and resources needed to assist the driving of this collaboration to maximise the wellbeing of Australia’s Defence members and veteran community.