MINISTER VISIT: Bass MHR Andrew Nikolic and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan, at the QVMAG Great War exhibition. Picture: Holly MoneryBudget initiatives to support Tasmanian veterans were outlined by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehanduringmeetings in Launcestonwith representatives from Legacy and RSL Tasmania on Friday.

Mr Tehan said the discussions focused on mental health and speeding up claim times.

“In the budget there were two, Ithink very important pieces of the budget for our veterans, one to deal with mental health especially in our young veterans when it comes to PTSD, toalcoholism, and to drugs,” he said. “Anyone now who has served permanently in our defence forces, willget access to care [which is]uncapped so they can get theattention they need.”

He said funding to update the IT system the department useswill help to reduce waiting times.The Minister was invited to Launceston by Bass MHR Andrew Nikolic, who said the $37.9 million extension to the non-liability healthcare initiative will help some of the 10,000 Tasmanian clients support by DVA.“As a former Army officer I have seen firsthand how some veterans are impacterd by mental health issues.” he said.“Our veterans with mental health problems need help as soon as they can get it.”

Mr Tehan said in the next five to 10 years, defence capability spending will create hundreds of jobs in the state.

“This is the most significant defence spending that this nation has undertaken since the second world war, and [we wantto]make sure that our defenceindustrieswill benefit…andwe’ll be at a roundtable [in Braddon] with defence industries tomorrow to discuss this,” he said.

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