Vol 58

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Your Say!





While the Association does not necessary agree or disagree with everything on this page,

we do respect the right of everyone to have their say.



Dear Everybody,


Long time readers of my website will know about the Australian Defence Force imam, Sheikh Mohamadu Nawas Saleem.


Saleem was appointed in 2015, even though he:

  • has called for Sharia law in Australia,

  • backed Hizb ut Tahrir (a group that condones the death penalty for those who leave Islam and that has called for an army to impose Sharia law in Australia), and

  • was a key member of the Australian National Imams Council when it condemned our military's actions against the Islamic State and laws that prohibit the advocation of terrorism.

It is very dangerous that such a man has been appointed to provide advice to the Chiefs of Army, Navy and Air Force about how they can change Defence culture and increase Islamic recruitment.


It is also insulting that he is paid over $700 per day for this job.


Saleem has flown under the radar since his appointment.   However, in the last few days the media has started to pay attention to him and his views.   Mark Latham has raised this issue on his show, Mark Latham's Outsiders. Additionally, 2GB's Ben Fordham has asked for an interview with the imam but it has been declined. And the Daily Mail has also covered the story.


We now have an opportunity to place pressure on the government to act on this imam.



Please sign the petition today calling on the Defence Minister to sack Sheikh Mohamadu Nawas Saleem. You can also help by sharing the petition on Facebook and other social media accounts.




Nearly 2,500 Australians have already signed this petition since it was launched yesterday afternoon.   It's great, but it's only the start.   Anything you can do to forward this petition onto others will be greatly appreciated.


Thank you once again for your support.




What is really happening with DVA.

       And why we should all be concerned.


Rod Thompson

Advocate (Level 4)


Over the last 10 or more years the policy direction of DVA has been to reduce services and liability. DVA have deliberately ignored the concept of compensation for reasons unknown to anyone except themselves. Since July 2004 and the inception of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (MRCA), DVA have been moving from a beneficial approach to an adversarial approach placing veterans and ex-service persons in a system that has no respect or understanding for their service, a system that allows and rewards fraud, bullying, maladministration and cover up. Veterans who complain about the service provided or errors made are attacked and isolated having their benefits threatened and their access to DVA services restricted with no right of review by an independent body such as the Admin Appeals Tribunal (AAT).


Rod Thompson.


Why do this?


It appears from the evidence gathered over the last 10 or more years that a whole of Public Service streamlining covering Human Services (Centrelink), Medicare, ATO, DVA and Health is underway with a view to reducing staff levels, costs, duplication and face to face client department interaction. The Deputy President of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC), Craig Orme, right, has been touting the virtues of myGOV centres where all the above mentioned government departments are housed in one facility (a shop front). Sadly, with DVA, the basket case that it is with 3 conflicting legislation's, a failing rehabilitation system and senior management oblivious to the damage to the welfare of clients posed by their incompetence and belligerence. Fitting DVA into a one size fits all IT system that processes initial claims and other processes such as TPI is impossible. The differences between the 3, possibly 4, legislation's would prevent any IT program functioning beneficently, efficiently and fairly.


The Answer.


DVA knowing full well that compensation agreements are binding under law, have decided with the attempted introduction of the Defence Related Claims Act (DRCA) and the digital readiness bills to take away from Veterans, specifically the 52,000 Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act (SRCA) veterans any rights and protections provided under SRCA (COMCARE) enabling DVA to template an amalgamation of all 3 legislation's under MRCA.


Veterans’ Entitlements Act (VEA) clients of which there are approximately 230,000 with an average of $25,784 per client spent on health cover and 23,000 MRCA clients with an average health spend of only $7,018 per client, it is easy to see why DVA would be looking at merging the two legislations. With the expected decline in VEA clients due to natural attrition, 79.8% of VEA clients are aged over 65 and 36.3% of those are aged over 80, DVA want the VEA gone with its beneficial approach and the range of benefits and entitlements provided to VEA clients that are not duplicated for those under MRCA and SRCA. DRCA is a template for DVA to push all veterans under the MRCA and a rehabilitation based workers compensation style of system not one specifically designed for veterans. DVA have indicated by statements made to the senate that they are not willing to apply legal precedents some handed down by the federal and high courts, instead they intend to pursue new more DVA favourable case law forcing veterans who are already disadvantaged by SRCA into costly and stressful legal action so DVA can establish their own case law.


Under the current DRCA proposal the legislation gives DVA:




The VEA with all its benefits, is an endangered species if DRCA is allowed to pass in its current form supported by ADSO and the RSL. The VEA will be next and TPI, DVA travel, 30+ years of case law will disappear and those on VEA TPI will be forced to endure annual vocational assessments and DVA forced rehabilitation assessments to maintain their benefits. For many years the question has been asked of various ministers is DVA and Centrelink amalgamating and the answer has been NO, but since the Abbott / Turnbull governments have been in place, this question remains unanswered by the 3 ministers so far. The IT system that DVA are intending to use is a hybrid of the system currently in place (and failing) at Human Services (Centrelink). DVA have recently switched to the HS phone system which reported 42 million unanswered calls last year alone – see HERE.




DVA's lack of consultation as per the senate enquiry submission is because DVA now think or actually state (Hansard) that the Ex-Service Organisations (ESO's) don't have the ability to review and give informed comment on legislative issues sadly because DVA have banned the subject matter experts and replaced them with yes men who are at DVA's beck and call. With the RSL so consumed with its own problems nationally and the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) just begging for table scraps from DVA, neither organisation is interested in the welfare of its members, more interested in how many trips to Canberra to fall asleep at ESO Round Table (ESORT) and ply the rubber stamp to detrimental legislation while staying at five star accommodation.


The “we have some reservations" statement of David Jamison from ADSO sums up the lack of empathy or understanding. DVA have tried to remove ESO's from the decision-making process because the RSL and ADSO are no longer holding them to account. The RSL's answer to veteran suicide is build a memorial. Finally, when you read the submissions of both organisations to the senate enquiry they are not veteran focused, they are self-serving and do not address any legislative reform to enable a system that is fair to all veterans whether they are 18 or 80.


DVA have slashed health care (Medicare schedule). DVA have submitted legislation that is not veteran centric as stated by Carolyn Spears DVA's principle legal adviser (right) "we are pushing this through because people are suffering" this was in reference to DRCA and yes people are suffering but that suffering will increase tenfold with the introduction of the un-amended DRCA legislation. The only reason that DVA could be pushing ahead with this is that it is the first step in a larger plan to move DVA in line with HS bringing all veterans under the MRCA saving billions of dollars.


MRCA Health Care 63 million at $5000 a head or VEA 4.64 billion at $25,000 per head a lay down misere for the bureaucratic bean counters. With the VEA population ageing, DVA don't expect a back lash if they are willing to attack 52,000 SRCA veterans with 48% aged between 40 and 60. DVA will not hesitate to do the same to the 230,000 VEA veterans with 78% aged over 65 and nearly 40% aged over 85 – see HERE.


We urge all DVA clients to be aware that in the next few years your compensation agreement with the commonwealth will change and it won't be to your benefit. We are currently talking with constitutional law experts to ascertain whether these changes are a breach of the constitution and the concept of compensation. DVA have rejected any call for consultation of review of the current compensation system and the conflicting legislation they believe that veterans are not bright enough to smell bullshit when it is served up and that will happen when you only deal with the RSL and ADSO. Thank you David Jamison ADSO and Robert Dick RSL National for selling out veterans for your pile of scraps from the DVA table.



(It is important that the people who man the State Offices of DVA should not be confused with those that reside in Canberra and who make the rules. Personally, I have had considerable dealings with the Brisbane Office of DVA and have found them caring, considerate and very willing to help. I can't speak highly enough of them.  tb)



DVA Improving Services.


The DVA Qld Deputy Commissioner, Ms Leanne Cameron, recently released a public letter outlining the way DVA is changing the way it does business with Australia's Veterans. She described how in the future DVA will provide a better level of support based on a Veteran's needs and expectations, rather than relying on complicated legislation and systems.


Leanne said that the recent passing of the Digital Readiness Bill through Parliament will allow DVA to implement computerised decision making though DVA will use these provisions only in situations where no human interpretation or discretion is required as DVA continues to modernise its IT systems. Improving computer systems and programs for the Department will mean that in the future veterans will see the benefits of this reform through faster processing times.


DVA also aims to help ADF members to transition to productive civilian lives within a short period of time after leaving the ADF.


DVA are there to help, we know some people don't agree, but they are definitely the exception, in the main, DVA is staffed by wonderful helpful and caring people.



You can read Leanne's letter HERE. tb.




Moshe, the owner of a small Kosher Hobart deli, was being questioned by an ATO agent about his tax return. He had reported a net profit of $80,000 for the year. 'Why don't you people leave me alone?' the deli owner said. 'I work like a dog, everyone in my family helps out, the place is only closed three days a year.  And you want to know how I made $80,000?' 'It's not your income that bothers us,' the agent said. 'It's these travel deductions. You listed ten trips to Israel for you and your wife.' 'Oh, that?' the owner said smiling. 'Well... We also deliver.




RSL sells out our Soldiers.


Wayne Oldfield sent us this, it appeared in the Townsville Bulletin on the 27th April.



“Anzac Day is being betrayed, and not just by some smartalec ABC presenter like Yassmin Abdel-Magied . Tuesday showed it was now being betrayed by the RSL itself, which let services in two capitals be hijacked by activists pushing tribal division. Why did the Canberra parade have Aboriginal veterans marching together under an Aboriginal flag, rather than with their units under an Australian one? Why did Adelaide’s Dawn Service start with a Welcome to Country – in fact a welcome to “stolen” land, as if our soldiers were mere guests or even invaders of a land some had died defending?


Anzac Day was sold out. Our most solemn day of unity was hijacked by people seeking to divide us instead. Why did the RSL allow this in the ceremonies it controls?


True, Abdel-Magied , one of the ABC’s celebrity Muslims, is actually getting most of the criticism for posting an Anzac Day sneer: “Lest we forget: Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine. Her hostility was clear even if her point was fuzzy: Anzac Day was apparently a time for feeling shame for keeping our Muslim illegal immigrants or for allowing Muslims in the Middle East to be slaughtered or allegedly oppressed. Abdel-Magied’s attempt to preach her tribal resentments, just like the other examples I’ve listed, is a betrayal of the very point of Anzac Day.


This is a day to remember those who thought Australia was worth the price of their life, and to be intensely grateful for both this country and those who died defending it. But we should make allowances for Abdel-Magied . She is just a 26-year-old , plainly not that bright. Remember her earlier claim that “Islam is the most feminist religion”? Blame instead her sponsors, the institutions who adopted her as their pet Muslim to parade their own broad-mindedness and to show that Islam has a pretty face, literally.


What other giddy 26-year-old , and with these views, would have been appointed to the federal Anzac Centenary Commemoration Youth Working Group? Or to the Australian Multicultural Council? Or to the Council for Australian-Arab Relations? And why would the ABC have picked her, from among hundreds of more experienced presenters and journalists, to present a weekend TV show telling us stories about Australia and the things that “unite us”?


No, Abdel-Magied is a symptom rather than the virus. She seems to me a mere profiteer of the politics of grievance and tribalism.


The real problem here is the RSL, which on Tuesday let Anzac Day become a platform for exactly this grievance-mongering and tribal division.


To repeat: Anzac Day is the most important day in our calendar for reminding ourselves we are one people, joined by a love of this country that compels us to defend it. It is a day the young honour the old, and when even migrant Australians honour those who defended what is now the home of us all. Indeed, at Melbourne’s parade I saw Australians marching or simply applauding who were born in Vietnam, China, Italy, Britain, Cyprus and India. I saw Sikhs and a Muslim family. Yet the RSL let this day of unity between generations and between Australians from so many countries and creeds degenerate into tribalism instead.


Aboriginal soldiers actually fought under the Australian flag, a fact that powerfully reminds us racism is a sin, given such sacrifice in a common cause. But in Canberra the RSL let many Aboriginal veterans march at the head of the parade under the Aboriginal flag instead, divided by “race” from the units in which they’d once served alongside other Australians. What ghastly apartheid. Is this our future now? To fight under racial flags?


In Adelaide, the RSL let the Dawn Service start with a Welcome to Country ceremony by Katrina Ngaityalya Power, who identifies as a “Kaurna” woman. What division is this, to treat our soldiers, sailors and airmen as strangers to the land that some died for? To treat them as people forever needing a welcome to their own land? Power rubbed it in by changing the wording of the Welcome to Country to “stolen Kaurna land” and changing the reading of the 23rd Psalm to include “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of invasion”.


Note that Power herself has ancestors who were “invaders”, which should demonstrate the foolishness of using such crude racial divisions in a country so complex. No, never mind silly Abdel-Magied . It’s the RSL’s stupidity on Tuesday that was far more ominous.




Werribee Mansion.


Our story in Vol 57 (HERE) prompted Robert Crawford to get in touch, he says:  “Many centuries ago, my wife and I lived in Laverton, during my phase of teaching (sorry - instructing) budding RAAF electronics technicians. We knew of the Werribee Park Mansion, but never visited it. Years later, a very good friend (who also suffers from Radtechitis) invited us to his daughter's wedding at the mansion. While we were there, we were told that when the Church took over the mansion, all the opulent fittings were removed, and everything was painted with a dark, dull paint. No pictures now exist of what the interior looked like, so nobody really knows the room colours, drapery colours, or what the furniture was. The current fittings are based on other houses of the time. On a later visit to Melbourne, we met my wife's aunt, Edie Hartnett (nee Hiscox), and we told her of our visit to the Mansion. To our surprise she told us she had often spent time there as a child, and she could remember what the house looked like. Sadly she passed away just after her 100th birthday in 1995. We never got her to visit the mansion to tell them about her memories.”


You’re right Robert, we had a yarn to the curator when we were there and they are desperate for some original info on the place. The Catholic Church did indeed strip all the goodness from the building and left it drab and bare.  What a shame your wife’s aunt hadn’t been in touch earlier. It is a wonderful place though and definitely worth a visit - tb




Bondi Vet.


Stan Seymour got in touch, he says:   "My son is in the running to be the next TV VET. [veterinarian]. The Bondi Vet people are having an online vote to see who the most popular Vet is. There were over 400 nominations, now cut to 50. I am trying to get as much support for Rich as I can. Can you help?? If so ,please ask people to go to the Bondi Vet WEB site. Find -- TOP 50 VOTING-- scroll down to RICH SEYMOUR and VOTE. Then confirm ID and email. Anyone who would like to check out Rich's abilities should GOOGLE -- The VET COLLECTIVE -- and see what his clients think of him. PS He is also a professional drummer/ percussionist  but the animals come first. Thanks for your consideration-- Stan Seymour-- Everton Park".




One day, in the shark-infested waters of Moreton Bay, two prawns called Justin and Christian are discussing the pressures of being a preyed upon prawn. "I hate being a prawn," says Justin. "I wish I were a shark." Suddenly, a mysterious cod appears. "Your wish is granted," he says and, instantly, Justin becomes a shark. Horrified, Christian swims away, afraid his former friend might eat him.


As time passes, Christian continues to avoid Justin, leaving the prawn-turned-man eater lonely and frustrated.  So when he bumps into the cod again, he begs the mysterious fish to change him back. Lo and behold, Justin is turned back into a prawn.


With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, he swims back to the reef to seek out Christian. As he approaches, he shouts out: "It's me, Justin, your old friend. I've changed ... I've found Cod. I'm a prawn again, Christian."




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