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Victorian Nationals

Tim Bull – Veterans snubbed in cold-hearted Budget

Thursday 9 May 2024


The Victorian veterans community has been treated appallingly in the State Budget, suffering a funding cut of most 40 per cent.


In a double blow, the Allan Labor Government also did nothing to address the housing issues of at-risk veterans.


The Budget reveals overall funding for “support for veterans in Victoria” will fall from $23.6 million to $14.4 million.


Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Tim Bull, said Labor had much explaining to do to those who have served our country.


Mr Bull said the footnote in the Budget papers to explain the massive funding cut blamed the one-off costs last year for the implementation of the veterans’ card.


“However, this does not ring true. It fails to explain why this year’s budget allocation ($14.4m) is significantly less than what was spent two years ago ($17.9m), a figure that excludes last year’s veterans’ card implementation funding.


“The Minister needs to come clean on what veteran programs and supports have been slashed in this $3.5million shortfall from two years ago.”


Veterans’ housing remains a major issue, with Vasey RSL Care slamming the budget.


“In relation to the critical issue of veteran housing, I note the commentary from Vasey RSL Care, Victoria’s leading provider of ex-service housing, care and support, which said the budget was ‘an absolute oversight to vulnerable veterans’,” Mr Bull said.


“It was seeking funding for its Bundoora Affordable Housing Project in an attempt to address the critical gap in housing provision for our at-risk veterans and in doing so provided the government with a direct option to deal with the issue – but was ignored.”


Mr Bull also queried what the Allan Labor Government is doing to iron out the bugs impeding take-up of the veterans’ card.


“Last week in Parliament the Minster stated there were 15,000 veterans who had registered for the card, but this is less than 17 per cent of Victoria’s veteran community and many have raised concerns about accessing the benefits of the scheme,” Mr Bull said.


“The take up has been exceptionally poor, has been dogged with registration problems and now with a budget cut of close to 40 per cent there needs to be some explaining. This must be remedied, as 83 per cent of our veterans are missing out.”


“The Allan Labor Government can’t manage money and Victorian veterans are paying the price.”

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