Thursday, 15 September 2016
Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016; In Committee
I will just conclude my earlier comments. It was only a matter of a few days ago that the Senate voted to establish an investigation into veterans affairs with particular reference to some of the issues we are traversing here tonight. Senator Cormann would probably be aware, if he had anybody observing the hearing that Senator Siewert and other crossbenchers attended the other day—because you denied this parliament the opportunity for a formal hearing—that these very points that you are making are contested not just by people such as Senator Lambie but those who have been put through the ringer and have had a lot of experience trying to make their way through this system. The veterans compensation system is complex and the Australian Greens are open to reform proposals that simplify the system, but this is not the way to do it. Before any changes to the veterans compensation system are allowed by this parliament, particularly change which veterans and some legal experts are saying will have adverse impacts on the very people that we are trying to help, the findings and recommendations of that Senate inquiry, which has just been put on its feet, should be considered before this matter is resolved.