The Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) is in a battle with the Federal Government to inprove the retirements benefits of our serving and exserving members. Win Fowles is leading the push from our end. Please visit the DFWA web site www.dfwa.org.au and if you can show your support by writing to the Minister of Veterans Affairs ( Alan Griffin firstname.lastname@example.org )and let him know how you feel about this issue. Remember we were all once Soldiers and our mates need a hand now.
Below is a letter Win sent to the Minister its long but worth the read:
Thank you for your time last night at the Caloundra RSL. It was and is appreciated.
Attached as we discussed and you requested is DFWA's response dated 30 Sep 2009 to the Matthews Report, as well as the covering letter to Minister Tanner. The response was and is supported by many other ESOs.
As you would know, further issues casting significant doubt on the depth and veracity of Mr Matthews' review have come to light since the attached response was written over nine months ago.
DFWA's attached response was posted on its website ( www.dfwa.org.au ) immediately after the response's dispatch to Minister Tanner. It is still there. So is other pertinent material.
Despite a number of requests from DFWA, all of which were suitably polite, Minister Tanner has never seen fit to reply or comment upon the demonstrated flaws in Mr Matthews report as evidenced in the DFWA paper. Nor to my knowledge has anyone else at ministerial level in your government.
Common courtesy normally dictates that a reply will be made, even if it is merely to tell the requester to go away. In this case and at this level, it seems reasonable that Minister Tanner would have at least acknowledged receipt of the DFWA response and that through his staff he would have addressed at least the key issues therein. He has not.
If I heard correctly, you said last night that you have requested more indexation costings from Finance before making a superannuation announcement in coming weeks. Given that Finance has a questionable track record under governments of both colours, and given that Finance under two governments has never chosen to reveal the methodology it uses to make its demonstrably questionable financial forecasts re indexation, and given that there is no evidence in Mr Matthews' 80 page report of any independent research on his part, what confidence can serving or former servicemen & women have in your coming announcement?
Your government's unquestioning and sole reliance on figures provided by Finance is disturbing. Your predecessors did the same. So did Mr Matthews.
You also said, again if I heard correctly, that an ABS inquiry to establish a suitable indexation formula for military super pensioners would cost around $80m and take up to four years, which is too expensive to contemplate. Noting that PBLCI reportedly cost around $18m to develop, may I ask that you enquire of your source the veracity of the $80m figure? And even if $18m or $80m is true, your Catch-22 argument is consigning military super pensioners to more decades of pension erosion and falling living standards, a situation that I once believed a Labor government in particular would find abhorrent.
I do ask - entreat - you not to accept and promulgate Finance's numbers at face value. Please, unlike Mr Matthews or others on both sides of the House, be sceptical. Ask for evidence. Ask for Finance's methodology. If it is robust it will withstand scrutiny.
And put Finance's alleged numbers in perspective by asking them for comparative numbers so that the indexation issue can be put in context, e.g. what is the 45 year unfunded liability for pre-2004 MP (PCSS) super pensions? What is the 45 year projection for the Age Pension? Medicare? What effect will the new military super scheme have on the alleged $15b unfunded liability for DFRDB/MSBS per Matthews page 66? When this liability declines, as it dramatically will, what is the positive effect on the Future Fund's projections? And more.
Mr Matthews used Finance's unverified scare numbers with no context. I do hope that your coming announcement will not fall into the same trap. The men and women of today's ADF will suffer directly if you do so, exactly as their predecessors have done under governments of both colours. All deserve better.
When all the politics and Politics are put to one side, neither your government nor the previous government has ever chosen to address the gross hypocrisy evidenced by the indexation method that applies to pre-2004 PCSS MPs. It is simply unconscionable for Finance Minister Tanner and previous Finance Minister Minchin, both of whom retire shortly, to each stonewall indexation reform for military super pensioners on cost grounds while personally enjoying an expensive indexation regime that is tied to today's and future MP salaries. I don't begrudge them the dollar value of their initial super pensions. I do begrudge them their indexation regime, as should any fair minded Australian regardless of political persuasion. You and they know it is hypocritical, indefensible and wrong.
Finally, all inquiries - including Matthews recently and Pollard & Melville & Jess decades ago, and all inquiries in between - acknowledged that the purpose of indexation is to protect pension purchasing power. Today's CPI does not do so. You know it. So does every other parliamentarian who has ever looked at the indexation issue for more than 30 seconds. Please fix it.
Thanks again for your time last night. The Caloundra RSL did a great job in hosting everybody.
As a special thank you to all our Nasho customers, we would like to extend a special offer, a free limited edition lapel pin, with only 2,500 being produced. To claim your free Limited Edition lapel pin, simply visit our Canberra showroom at 65 Kembla Street Fyshwick after August 15.
The front features the design of the Anniversary of National Service Medal and the reverse is stamped with the limited edition number. As an added bonus we'll also give you a complimentary Military Shop pen. Remember, these limited edition lapel pins cannot be ordered, you must visit the Army Shop showroom to claim your free lapel pin.
Can't make it to our showroom?
If you are not able to visit our showroom but would still like a lapel pin you can order an un-numbered standard lapel pin. The front of the pin is the same as the limited edition version but the back is plain and not stamped. The lapel pin is $6.00 plus postage (calculated at time of order). The lapel pins will be available after August 15 but can be pre-ordered now.
If you would like further information, or you would like to place an order, please feel free to contact us on 02 6123 2960 or visit www.armyshop.com.au
Below Pte Timothy Aplin, Pte Scott Palmer and Pte Benjamin Chuck all saddly killed defending us and our lifestyle.
It's been a sorry few weeks for our mates in Afghanistan. Yet another soldier killed adding to the sad list
Private Nathan Bewes from the Brisbane based 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) was killed by an improvised explosive. Private Bewes was serving with the 1st Mentoring Task Force in Afghanistan, and was part of a dismounted Australian patrol conducting operations in the Chora Valley region of Uruzgan province. Another soldier from the same patrol suffered minor wounds as a result of the blast and is currently receiving medical treatment at Role 2 medical facility at Multi-National Base Tarin Kowt. Private Bewes was 23 years old and leaves behind his loving parents, sister and partner, who are currently receiving support from Private Bewes’ unit 6RAR, and from the Defence Community Organisation. Private Bewes was born in Kogarah, NSW in 1986. He joined the Army in 2005 and in the same year successfully completed his recruit and infantry basic training prior to being posted to 6RAR. This was his second deployment to Afghanistan. Private Bewes had also deployed to East Timor in 2006.
The first order for the Two Platoon belt buckles will be going in this week, this is a test run to see what they will look like, if they are okay they will be available at the reunion next year. We are also thinking of having a Two Platoon (33) medallion made up as a key ring, we are getting a quote now. What do you think, we need you feedback. If you have any ideas for the reunion please let us know.
Vietnam Veterans Day A few of us are heading for the Tweed area for Vietnam Veterans day. If you are interested in joining us give Mohrie a ring on 0407546311, 0754382492 or email email@example.com . The reunion committee will be holding a meeting the day prior, you would be more then welcome to attend to see what goes on on your behalf.
Lest we forget It's sad to see more of our fellow diggers being killed overseas. If you can, raise a glass for them, they need us to stand behind them. We remember what it was like to be away from our love ones.
2 Transport Platoon served in Sth Vietnam from 1967 until 1970. Based in Vung Tau, the unit was responsible for transporting supplies to Nui Dat, Saigon, Long Binh and various Fire Support Bases including Coral, Balmoral, Anderson etc.