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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 15 August 2018) . . Page.. 2969 ..

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Orr for the supplementary question. In this budget we are growing services for the growing veterans population in the ACT. We know that over 300 personnel exited the defence force and settled in the ACT in 2017, adding their skills, their training and their leadership qualities to the community.

This year we have created a dedicated veterans social inclusion grants round, and this is important as, for many in the ADF, the defence force becomes their family, their support network and their social circle as they move through their military careers. These grants will help support those who are serving and those who have served become and remain connected members of the Canberra community.

Many of those who exit the ADF have a number of years or even decades of their working life ahead of them and we want to ensure that they are able to build a new family and a new support network in Canberra. Similarly, we want to ensure that those who are no longer working also remain an integrated and integral party of the city.

In addition to this, we are implementing the government’s veterans employment program. Dedicated staff in the Chief Minister’s directorate provided for in the budget will be developing institutional links with the Department of Defence and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in helping to create resources to facilitate employment transition from the ADF to the ACT public service. They will also work to support our recently announced veterans employment champions to build internal support and mentoring arrangements for veterans in the ACT public service.

Whether it is veterans or seniors or any of the other parts that the government works in, this budget will be making sure that we are continuing to grow the services and the supports for all those who live in our city.

Budget—pensioner concessions

MR MILLIGAN: My question is to the Minister for Veterans and Seniors. The pensioner concession for the fire and emergency levy was reduced from 50 per cent in 2015-16 to 29 per cent in 2018-19. The levy has increased for pensioners by 368 per cent since 2011-12. Why is the value of the pensioner concession for the fire and emergency levy fallen while the levy has increased dramatically?

MADAM SPEAKER: Are you taking that question, Treasurer?

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I have responsibility for concessions. The government has, through changes to the fire and emergency services levy, sought to better align the cost of service provision in this area with—

Mr Coe: Better align?

Mrs Dunne: That means increase.

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