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Estimates: Veterans' Carers and other Support Services

Senator WRIGHT: I want to ask some questions in relation to the increasing number of veterans with physical and mental problems who are being cared for in their homes by spouses, family members or other unpaid carers. I am aware of the concern of people in the community through consultations and discussions that I have been having. I am interested in better understanding what support is given to carers of veterans to enable them to accompany the veterans to hospital or care facilities-for example, transport services.

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Targeted Mental Health Programs Needed for Veterans

Greens Veterans Affairs and Mental Health spokesperson, Senator Penny Wright, has welcomed the release of a landmark Defence Force study into the mental health of troops across three forces.

"It is not surprising that when we send people into conflict zones on our behalf, they experience events and trauma that take a toll on their mental health," Senator Wright said.

 "It is vitally important that we know the extent of the challenges veterans face so that the Defence Force can provide the follow-up and support they need."

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Penny Wright Discusses Veterans Mental Health Issues on Radio Adelaide

To mark Vietnam Veterans’ Remembrance Day and the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, Greens Veterans' Affairs Spokesperson, Senator Penny Wright discusses how we need to better support our veterans on Radio Adelaide.

"As a society we send people off to serve on our behalf; we must then ensure that we look after them properly when they return."

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Caring for Veterans Must Extend Beyond the War

Vietnam Veterans’ Remembrance Day and the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan is a timely moment to consider the ongoing costs of war, according to Greens Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson Penny Wright.

“As a society we send people off to serve on our behalf.  We must then ensure that we look after them properly when they return,” Senator Wright said.

“As we consider the brave service of our soldiers in Vietnam, we must also reflect on the problems faced by veterans and their families when they return home from war.

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Do the right thing by veterans

The Australian Greens have called on the Australian Government to properly compensate the victims of the atomic testing at Maralinga.

The Greens spokesperson for nuclear issues and legal affairs, Senator Scott Ludlam, said the hopes of Australian veterans for compensation for exposure to nuclear testing in the 1950s had been undermined by a decision of the British Court of Appeal.

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Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (2010 Budget Measures) Bill 2010

I will make some brief remarks on the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (2010 Budget Measures) Bill 2010 and related bill. Veterans of British atomic weapons testing that occurred in Australia between 1952 and 1963 at Maralinga, Emu Field and the Monte Bello Islands have been calling for compensation for a very long time. Some of them have joined a class action in Britain now that the EU high court has ruled that they deserve a day in court so that they can make their case.

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Nuclear Veterans

Senator LUDLAM (2.24 pm)-My question is to the Minister for Defence representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. While the amount of compensation allocated in the budget is clearly insufficient, the Greens join others in welcoming the long overdue recognition of severe health impacts on Australian Defence personnel who were exposed to ionising radiation from nuclear tests. Beyond the compensation measures announced in the budget, veterans are also calling for full comprehensive health care in particular at a gold card standard.

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