Better access to information for ADF personnel & veterans

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Related ministers and contacts

The Hon Matt Keogh MP

Minister for Defence Personnel

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Media contact

Stephanie Mathews on 0407 034 485

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4 April 2023

The Albanese Government has implemented a further five recommendations from the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s interim report.

Changes have been made to improve information access from the Department of Defence and Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), veterans and their families.

This includes the establishment of Information Access Units within the Department of Defence and DVA, additional education material on the information access process, how and why redactions occur, and updates to both Departments’ websites.

The new Information Access Units will serve as a single point of contact for information requests, and will provide dedicated support to applicants if needed. The teams are already working closely together to facilitate requests quickly and seamlessly.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel, the Hon Matt Keogh MP, said the initiatives demonstrate the Government’s commitment to improving access to information for ADF members, veterans and their families.

“The Royal Commission’s Interim Report was clear, as was the veteran and family community, that the information access process wasn’t fit for purpose. The Government has been working to address this as quickly as possible,” he said.

“Following a comprehensive co-design process with Defence personnel, veterans and their families, DVA and Defence are implementing a raft of improvements to make sure the system is easier to navigate.

“With the initiatives the Government has put in place, ADF members, veterans and families will better understand the process of accessing information, and have the option to receive assistance from a dedicated team if they need it.

Along with improving access to information, the Albanese Government continues to implement its response to the Royal Commission’s other recommendations. This includes engaging 500 new frontline DVA staff to eliminate the compensation claims backlog and the public consultation on a pathway to reform more than a century of veterans’ entitlement legislation which is currently underway.

For more information about accessing information held by Defence or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, visit their websites.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Government’s full response to the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s interim report can be found here.

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