Feb 2021

Katter invites Veterans Affairs Minister to visit Nth Qld

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KENNEDY MP, Bob Katter has written to Veterans Affairs Minister, Darren Chester, inviting him to come to North Queensland and meet with veterans, veterans’ family members and veterans support groups.

The federal Katter Party MP said it was now critical that Mr Chester visit as soon as possible considering the worsening suicide crisis in the veteran community.

"Good government is impossible if the Ministers are always in Canberra. So, I am inviting the Minister up to North Queensland, and I would hope that he interfaces with soldiers, veterans, and their families,” Mr Katter said.

"Jacqui Lambie and I interfaced with 700 to 800 veterans and soldiers in just three days, and it has really given me a clear perspective of what is going wrong.

"When our men and women are in the army, they have a family. They have their army family and their own family; they have a good steady income and they have an identity.

"When they get out of the forces, they lose their identity, their income vanishes, they think they'll get jobs and they don't. So, their income goes, then their family goes, and they have neither their immediate family nor their army family. Identity, family and income are the three pillars."

Mr Katter said the way forward was for the armed forces to properly prepare soldiers for life after service, with a proper transition program, and he hopedMinister Chester would investigate this proposal further.

"The armed forces and the government won't like this, but our soldiers must be trained on how to exit effectively," he said.

"The Broncos rugby league team and many other professional sporting organisations faced a similar situation to the army now, with retirees going off the deep end.

"When Wayne Bennett and Bruno Cullen took the helm, they were adamant that the club build a pathway for the players once they left the game. You can't play first grade football or be in the army for forever.

"The Broncos got financial advisers in so the players would invest wisely, and they made sure the players had training in a trade or in a tertiary education.”

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au