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Federal Labor promise to deliver $5m veteran hub for Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains

Apr 13, 2022

Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains veterans’ health and well being will get a boost thanks to a planned $5 million one-stop-shop for specialised services in the region, if Labor gets elected in the upcoming Federal election.


Shadow Veterans’ Affairs Minister Shayne Neumann, RSL NSW President Ray James OAM, Windsor RSL Sub-branch wellbeing advocate Bonnie Rieusset, and Macquarie MP Susan Templeman at Richmond Club on April 8


Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Shayne Neumann and Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman have met with Windsor RSL Sub-Branch wellbeing advocate Bonnie Rieusset to hear her insight into the needs of veterans as they enter the civilian world. Also present was RSL NSW President Ray James.


“Labor pushed for a Royal Commission into veteran suicide and mental health issues, and dragged the Morrison Government kicking and screaming into that area,” Mr Neumann said.

“Sadly, since recent conflicts we have seen too many veterans take their own lives.


“That’s why we are making this commitment of $5 million for a Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury region veterans’ hub, because we want to make sure that this one-stop shop can provide support for veterans’ wellbeing with their transition from military to civilian life.


“We want to make sure that they can get wrap-around services locally, including mental health services and support for both young families and young veterans.”


Local veterans would have substantial input into the development of the Veteran Wellbeing Centre, including on where it will be located.


“Bonnie has shared her experience of leaving the Defence Force and what she finds as she assists people in her role as wellbeing advocate – we’ve talked about what works and what could work better,” Ms Templeman said.


“I know every veteran and their close family members will have their own thoughts on this too, and, if we win the election, I will be seeking input from veterans, as well as current serving personnel and their families, about how we best support them.


“There are more than 2000 veterans and their families living in Macquarie, one of the larger veteran populations in NSW, and many thousands of veterans across the wider Western Sydney region, yet there is a real gap in services in this area.”


“I’ve stood beside so many in our community, like the RSL Sub-branches and the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans, who have been advocating long and hard for more services and more support for veterans. It’s clear we need to do better by the people who have served our nation, as they establish the next stage of their life,” said Ms Templeman.


“Our defence families contribute significantly to this region, with both Richmond RAAF and RAAF Glenbrook home to serving personnel, and the lifestyle our area offers means many come to live here when their service has ended.


“I look forward to working with our veteran community to deliver this much-needed service for our region,” Ms Templeman said.


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