SHADOW Minister for Seniors Ros Bates paid a visit to Cleveland on Thursday to speak with locals about the LNP’s Veterans’ Affairs policy and drive to deliver Queensland’s first Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls announced the initiative earlier this year.
Flanked by Cleveland MP Mark Robinson, Ms Bates visited the Donald Simpson Community Centre, where she spoke with manager Thomas Jithin and board chairman Tony Christinson.
Ms Bates also met with Redlands RSL Sub-Branch president Alan Harcourt and League secretary Michael McDonnell at the sub-branch’s facility in Passage Street.
She said as a mother of two ex-service personnel she knew firsthand the problems they faced when leaving the Defence Force.
“Unless they’ve been trained in a particular trade in the services, a lot of the talents they have to have to be in the Defence Force don’t translate into a job when they come out,” she said.
“We thought we would launch this policy about appointing a Minister for Veterans’ Affairs here in Queensland to make sure that within the state services we have someone who is keeping an eye on our veterans and making sure that we honour not only the service they did for us but to ensure they have a future when they get out.”
Mr Robinson said the LNP’s plan would be of great benefit to the many veterans who lived in the Redlands.
He said a dedicated Minister for Veterans’ Affairs would ensure state government services were better targeted to the group.
“This could include initiatives such as delivering a veterans’ homelessness strategy,” he said.
Mr Robinson said the policy also would see more veterans working in the Queensland public service by providing recognition of how their military training fit into roles with the government.
“We will also make sure Queensland government job websites are updated to provide more information to ex-ADF personnel about the jobs that best link to their skill set,” he said.