The Federal Government is rejecting recommended changes to the Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card, providing veterans and their families across the Nicholls electorate with clarity and assurance regarding the future of their benefits.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the proposed changes to the Gold Card – recommended in the Productivity Commission’s A Better Way to Support Veterans report – did not fully support the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families, which was a key focus of the Government’s agenda.
Mr Drum said Nicholls’ veteran community could rest assured that the Government was committed to their health and wellbeing.
“Nicholls has a proud history of military service and today’s announcement will benefit not just our current veteran community, but generations of veterans into the future,” Mr Drum said.
“In coming to this decision, the Federal Government consulted extensively with the veteran community and the recommended changes to the Gold Card stood out as a particular concern to our veterans and their families.
“The Government is rejecting these recommendations and will not be implementing them –eligibility for the Veteran Gold Card will not change.
“I hope this announcement puts the minds of our veterans and their families at ease relating to this important issue.”
The Productivity Commission recommended restricting future Gold Card eligibility to veterans with a severe service-related impairment. This effectively meant no new grants of Gold Card for veterans’ dependants, as well as several other veteran cohorts that are currently entitled.
It also recommended there be no further extensions of eligibility for the Gold Card to new categories of veterans, veterans’ dependants or civilians who are currently ineligible. This effectively removed the ability of Government to extend eligibility for the Gold Card in the future.