An estimated 500 Victorian veterans who were seriously injured on Australian soil during their service are now eligible for free public transport travel passes.
In July, the Andrews Labor Government changed the eligibility requirements for free travel, removing the requirement that a recipient had served overseas at war or in peacekeeping operations. Some 30 eligible veterans have applied, and are now taking advantage of the changes.
Previously, veterans classified as Totally Permanently Incapacitated or Extreme Disablement Adjustment were only eligible for a Public Transport Victoria Free Travel Pass if their injuries were sustained in service overseas. The change means veterans injured in training operations and other incidents will now get the support they deserve.
Some 3488 eligible veterans hold a Free Travel Pass, which can be used on metropolitan train, tram and bus services, V/Line train and coach services throughout regional Victoria, and other public transports services operated under contract with Public Transport Victoria.
Veterans protected us, and it’s our job to protect them. The Andrews Labor Government is committed to giving Victoria’s veterans and their families the help they need to live safe, happy lives.
The Labor Government recently unveiled the Veterans Accommodation Project, which gives Victoria’s veterans facing hardship a chance to find their feet again with emergency accommodation.
The Labor Government’s 2015-16 Victorian Budget provides $400,000 to support the wellbeing of veterans and their families, working with the RSL to safeguard the welfare of the men and women who served our country. In addition, the Budget provides $1 million to host a Vietnam Veterans’ Parade commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
The Victorian Veterans Council is also conducting a community review of the veterans sector, to better understand the problems faced by veterans and their families, and how Victoria can better attend to their needs.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans John Eren
“We owe it to our veterans to ensure they can live happy and healthy lives. We’re glad many Victorians who were injured outside war or peacekeeping will be able to make the most of this initiative.”
“The Free Travel Pass ensures veterans can get to medical appointments and other important commitments without having to worry about the costs of travel.”
“Our servicemen and women protect us, and it’s our job to protect them too. We’ll give them the support they need for the rest of their lives.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020