On 14 May 2021, the Government provided an update on its response to the Productivity Commission Report, A Better Way to Support Veterans:
To-date, the Government has invested more than $386 million in addressing 35 of the report’s 69 recommendations and supporting the more immediate needs of the veteran community.
The remaining recommendations primarily relate to structural and legislative reform, including harmonisation of entitlements across the existing three veteran Acts.
Through engagement with defence force personnel, veterans, their families and ex-service organisations, it is clear that there are still considerable differences on the best approach to this legislative reform.
The Government will continue to consult with the veteran community to reduce the complexity of the legislative framework.
The Government recognises that the most recent legislation, the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004, will be the primary veterans’ legislation going forward and there will be a “long tail” of the two earlier Acts, the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988.
The Government will finalise any outstanding matters from the Productivity Commission report at the completion of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.
The Departments of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs will continue to progress administrative recommendations that improve operations between the Departments and deliver better outcomes for veterans.