A future Labor Government will invest in defence personnel and veterans in the Queanbeyan and Palerang region by providing $5 million in funding for a new Veteran Wellbeing Centre.
Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann said a new veteran hub in Queanbeyan would be a one-stop shop for veterans and their families to access a range of services, including transition, wellbeing support, advocacy, employment and housing assistance, and social connection.
The centre will be a family-friendly space, and provide peer-to-peer support for younger veterans and their families, bringing together critical services under one roof.
We want to see a facility run by veterans, for veterans, that’s inclusive and easily accessible for all ex-service men and women in the community.
There has been an increased need for support services in the region as a result of long wait times for veteran claims, the Royal Commission into defence and veteran suicide, and the ADF’s withdrawal from the conflict in Afghanistan last year.
This $5 million commitment is about providing practical support on the ground for our defence personnel and veterans, and their families who may be doing it tough.
A number of veterans and ex-service organisations in the area, together with local Member Kristy McBain, have advocated for this for some time – Labor has listened to this feedback and responded with this commitment,
Eden-Monaro and surrounding electorates are home to around 18,000 veterans and their families, as well as several Defence bases, such as Headquarters Joint Operations Command and HMAS Harman, so a new Veteran Wellbeing Centre would help these current and former personnel and their families.
It could also provide support for other groups in the community, like first responders, including police and emergency services personnel.
The key to the new veteran support centre would be listening to the local community to design a service that meets their needs.
If elected, Labor will continue to consult with the local ex-service community on how to best support them and their families with this facility, and to determine an appropriate lead organisation, location and delivery model for the centre.
Only Labor is on the side of veterans and families in Eden-Monaro, and we will give them the services they need and deserve.