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Greens praise War Memorial honour for peacekeepers

Australian Greens spokesperson for Veterans' Affairs Senator Penny Wright has praised the advocacy and community campaigning which has led to the inclusion of peacekeepers on the Honour Roll at the Australian War Memorial.

Speaking at the unveiling today, Senator Wright said tens of thousands of Australians had been involved in this campaign to properly commemorate peacekeepers who have fallen in the line of duty.

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Caring for Veterans

The Greens believe that if we are prepared to send men and women to serve Australia on our behalf, we have a responsibility to care for them properly when they return.

This means ensuring they have access to proper support, including mental health and wellbeing services, and making sure service personnel who are injured are not financially disadvantaged while they are being treated.

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Build on Vietnam lessons to help all veterans

Australian Greens spokesperson for veterans' affairs, Senator Penny Wright, has used Vietnam Veterans Day today to call on the Australian Government for better recognition of veterans' mental health causes.

Senator Wright said it was important Australia applied the lessons learnt from the Vietnam War and recognised the significant and long-lasting impacts of war experienced by veterans and their families.

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Greens call for medical care for Australia’s Nuclear Veterans

The Australian Greens have called for hundreds of Australian soldiers who were exposed to radiation from British nuclear bomb testing in the 1950s and ‘60s to automatically receive Veterans' Gold Card health care.

"Between 1952 and 1963, more than 16,000 Australian civilians and serviceman were exposed to nuclear fallout when British nuclear weapons were tested at the Montebello Islands in Western Australia, Maralinga and Emu fields in South Australia, and over the Christmas and Malden Islands," spokesperson Assisting on Defence, Senator Scott Ludlam said.

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Talisman Sabre must halt bombing as civilians enter training area

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says the US bombing of the Great Barrier Reef has sparked two peace protestors to enter the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area today to disrupt the Talisman Sabre training exercises.

"The training exercise must cease immediately to protect the lives of the two activists - Greg Rolles and Graham Dunstan. I understand these people entered the site to express their opposition to the military exercises including the dropping of four unarmed bombs on the fragile Great Barrier Reef by US forces last week," said Senator Ludlam.

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Budget 2013: Education, Legal Affairs, Mental Health and Veterans Affairs portfolio breakdown

The 2013 Labor Budget will do little to ease the stress on Australians. Senator Penny Wright talks about what was in the budget and what more could be done in each of her portfolio areas.

Education

What's in the budget:

  • $9.8 billion in new school funding
  • $3 billion in next the next four years, $6 billion to come in the following two years

What I think:

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Veterans' mental health: More to be done, say Greens

The Australian Greens will query the effectiveness of mental health services for veterans, as extra funding for mental health was revealed in yesterday's Defence White Paper.

Australian Greens spokesperson for Mental Health and Veterans Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, welcomed the further funding, but suggested the full extent of veterans mental health needs was yet to be determined.

"The new generation of veterans returning from places like Iraq and Afghanistan will face considerable challenges," Senator Wright said.

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