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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3519 ..

Omit all text after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) notes:

(a) the ACT is home to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) headquarters and approximately 8000 ADF and 7000 APS Defence personnel;

(b) the ACT is home to approximately 26 000 ADF veterans;

(c) the economic contribution of the defence industry to the ACT and surrounding region is $4.3 billion GSP and 25 000 defence-related jobs;

(d) and expresses thanks for the ADF’s recent contribution towards the ACT’s COVID response;

(e) that the ACT Government considers the skills and experience of veterans as a valuable asset to the ACT community;

(f) that the ACT Government has been very successful in implementing strategies to attract and retain veterans in the ACT Public Service, with the number of veterans employed increasing from 102 in 2017 to 235 in 2021;

(g) that, in recognition of the steps the ACTPS has taken to support veterans in transitioning to civilian life, the ACT Public Service was awarded the 2020 Veterans Employer of the Year for Public Sector Organisations in the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Awards;

(h) that the ACT Government will continue to advocate for the ACT, noting its relatively large veteran population, to be a location for a Commonwealth Government-funded Veteran Wellbeing Centre;

(i) the valued ongoing work by the diverse members of the Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans and their Families; and

(j) the leaders of the three parties represented in the ACT Legislative Assembly may choose to write to the Australian Greens, outlining their feedback on Australian Greens Defence Policy and perceived implications for ADF personnel; and

(2) calls on the:

(a) Chief Minister and the Minister for Veteran Affairs to write to the Prime Minister and the Commonwealth Minister for Veteran Affairs to advocate for the ACT to be selected as a location for a Veteran Wellbeing Centre, and build on the successful work to date on career transition pathways for veterans into the ACT Public Service; and

(b) ACT Government to continue investing in programs and services aimed at supporting the ACT’s veteran community.”.

It is not every day that I hear someone use language like “dangerous” about the way I do my work. May I just say that just because someone wants to start a fight does not mean that you have to join it. Mr Hanson may interpret that as dangerously as he wishes.

The responsibility to protect and promote the interests of our fellow Australians who have served their country is one that, as minister for veterans, I take very seriously. As Mr Hanson has already mentioned, the ACT has around 26,000 veterans and, along

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