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Grass-roots ESO members disillusioned with DVA and its opaque dealings with ESO leadership

Letter submitted by MAJ Rick Ryan (RTD)

After watching the lackluster performance of Liz Cosson DVA on the 14th of April 2022, I am more than disillusioned with the performance of DVA.

One particular aspect brought out was that the three Acts, VEA, MRCA, and DRCA are being reviewed in the attempt to merge at least MRCA and DRCA into one Act and/or combine all three Acts together. News to me was that ESORT is looking at this, as they were invited by DVA, (Liz Cosson is Chairperson) at an ESORT Meeting, while Liz Cosson also stated that DVA had held a few workshops on this subject. This revolves around the findings of the Productivity Commission report and the government has directed DVA (May 2021) to look at this aspect with consideration for the wider veteran community to be involved.

Just how many of you out there have been advised by one of these ESOs that they are reviewing the Acts?

Not me. I am a member of the TPI Federation and DFWA and the first I have heard of it.

Is this the reason why the past Minutes from ESORT Meetings after Feb 2021 have not been published on the DVA ESORT web page? (Refer to the link below). Once again the grass-root members of these ESOs are left pondering just what action they are taking on our behalf and without our knowledge or input. The first thing we will hear about it is when the Legislation has been changed and by then it's all but too late.

ESORT and the DVA system of consultation id in urgent need of reform. Younger veterans need to be included, as it is their future that is being decided on.

I must commend Peter Gray QC, Counsel assisting the Royal Commissioners on his questioning of Ms Cosson. He certainly hit the mark on a number of issues with DVA in their so-called roadmap out of this crisis (where it appears that there really isn't one), timeliness of claims, changes in legislation to the three Acts, future forecasting, and the list goes on and on.

One aspect that I really thought was worthy of note what that should there be any changes to the three Acts, DVA could ‘grandfather’ those claims already accepted under the current Acts without any detriment to the compensation currently being paid to veterans. The acceptance of this sort of proposal should make the task of proposing any changes to the Acts much easier, as veterans would not have to fear that their current entitlements would be affected.

Take care and Persevere,

Rick Ryan, MAJ (Rtd)

President, AATTV Association WA Branch

Life Subscriber, TPI Association WA Branch

Life Subscriber, DFWA

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