Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Veterans Ministerial Council

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:12): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries regarding the Veterans Ministerial Council.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: On 6 October, federal, state and territory ministers responsible for veterans' matters met in Perth, committing to strengthening national collaboration on the services and supports available to veterans and their families. The Veterans Ministerial Council was joined by the United Kingdom Minister of State for Veterans' Affairs, the Rt. Hon. Johnny Mercer MP. Minister Mercer provided an update on matters of importance to UK veterans and families and shared insights into the UK veteran landscape.

The council agreed that the royal commission into defence and veteran suicide has made it abundantly clear that more needs to be done to support the mental health and wellbeing of defence personnel, veterans and families. My questions to the minister are:

1. Why did the government not send a representative on behalf of the South Australian Minister for Veterans Affairs, the only minister from all the states, territories and commonwealth unable to attend the Veterans Ministerial Council?

2. Is it acceptable that South Australian veterans have now missed out on the state government engaging with the Veterans Ministerial Council to tackle the issues facing veterans, particularly in mental health?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:13): I thank the honourable member for her question. I will refer it to the Minister for Veterans Affairs in the other place. Not being specifically familiar with the dates, but of course the minister in the other place has had a period of illness and been away on that account, but I will get an answer and bring it back to the chamber.