Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 10 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 August 2009) . . Page.. 3763 ..
himself at the moment, but in other jurisdictions—I think in all of them; if not all, there are probably only one or two that have not—the Chief Minister or the Premier specifically identifies and has that in his title: he is identified as the minister for veterans affairs. It would be helpful if our Chief Minister followed suit.
In terms of the activities that I have conducted, there was some criticism from Mr Corbell. No, I have not carried on with much fanfare. This is the sort of job which is done best on the ground. I have not put out reams of press releases. But I would like to express what I have done.
I think there is virtue in the fact that we have instituted a shadow minister so that veterans organisations have a single point of contact with the opposition. That has been quite substantive. The motion that we are putting in the Assembly today is substantive. There was my speech on Vietnam veterans in the adjournment debate as late as last week.
For the minister’s benefit, I would also like to mention some of the activities I have done on the ground. I have attended meetings of the Kindred Organisations Committee. Twice now on Anzac Day, I have marched with the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam Association. Recently I attended a meeting of the HMAS Sydney, Escorts and Vietnam Logistic Support Veterans Association. I have attended commemorative functions run by the South East Asia Forces Association. I am a Legatee: that means I am a member of Legacy. I have been to commemorative services run by the Naval Association of Australia.
Last week I attended a lunch and spoke at a meeting of the RAAF Association. I am a member of the Returned and Services League of Australia—the Woden Valley sub-branch—and regularly attend their commemorative services and social occasions. I am a member of the Royal Australian Regiment Association. As late as last week I attended activities conducted by the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia. Along with Ms Porter, I have attended commemorative activities for the War Widows Guild of Australia. I have attended a number of activities, including openings of new reconditioned rooms, two of them at the Canberra Services Club.
So there has not been a great deal of fanfare, Mr Corbell; you are quite right. I think that this is something that can be done effectively on the ground, engaging face to face with individual veterans, members and the ex-service community. It is not necessarily just about a press release or a photograph opportunity.
In closing, let me say, as I said before, that there are a range of organisations in the ACT. I read a number of them before, but I now have time to mention some I did not mention before. They are the Australia Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans Association, the Australian Special Air Service Association, the Ex-WRANS Association, the Naval Association, the Polish Ex-Servicemen’s Association, the RAAF Association, the Rats of Tobruk Association—and the Royal Australian Regiment Association and the Canberra Services Club, which I mentioned before.
I call on the government to review what can be done for veterans. There is certainly much more that can be done. It appears that a number of veterans organisations and