Minister for Veterans, Natalie Ward MLC, has told a budget estimates hearing last week that the collection of vital data to monitor the health and wellbeing of NSW veterans was not the NSW Government’s responsibility.
Asked by Anthony D’Adam MLC whether the NSW Government maintained its own data base regarding veterans, Minister Ward said: “It’s obviously a Commonwealth issue, what we do best as we can through the Office of Veterans Affairs is use the census data to allow us to target better the programswe have in place and the support services.”
The Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Caroline Mackaness, also confirmed the NSW Government ‘had no data on the landscape of veterans living in NSW’ whatsoever prior to 2016.
Shadow Minister for Veterans, Greg Warren MP, said NSW veterans and their families deserved much, much better from the NSW Government.
“The NSW Government doesn’t rely on the Commonwealth Government to build roads, schools or sporting stadium, so why are they relying on their counterparts to solely monitor the health and wellbeing of our state’s veterans?” he asked.
“This is buck-passing at its finest.
“Roads, trains and schools in NSW are the responsibility of the state government – veterans and their families should be too.
“The NSW Government has dismissed and neglected the need of veterans and their families for far too long.
“Enough is enough.”