Additional comments by Labor senators

Labor acknowledges the importance of families in the life of both current and ex-serving members and the theme throughout the submissions calling to strengthen the language around the role of families.
We know that when an individual serves in the Australian Defence Force, in many ways their family serves with them. Recognising the role families play in turns recognises the unique nature of military service and the sacrifices made by those who serve.
Labor Senators continue to consider the benefit of including current serving members within the Covenant, as per the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces Covenant.
This was noted by the Defence Force Welfare Association as the peak body representing current serving members, one of the only submitters to this inquiry who represents current serving members and the chief advocate for the need for a military covenant for the past ten years who stated:
…the intent of the legislation through the concept of the unique nature of military service is for recognition to be inclusive of not only veterans but of those still serving in military uniform.1
In addition, Labor Senators note the comments by the Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in relation to reporting who stated the Minister provides an annual statement. However, we believe there continues to be a benefit in considering ways to strengthen this reporting element, including legislating this requirement.
Senator Alex Gallacher
Deputy Chair
Senator Claire Moore

  • 1
    Defence Force Welfare Association, Submission 17, p. 5.

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