The “thank you for your service” message from the Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Darren Chester, to the more than 80,000 men and women currently serving in the Australian Defence Force (The Border Mail, September 3) rings hollow while Commonwealth legislation, which the Minister presides over under his other portfolio of Minister for Defence Personnel, is ripping billions of dollars from the superannuation benefits of retired service personnel who served in the ADF for a minimum of 20 years.
“Caring for our veterans and their families is the best way to honour the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation in uniform” is a hackneyed phrase which is regularly trotted out by politicians of all persuasion.
But the reality for those men and women, after they leave the ADF, is far different.
Herb Ellerbock, Rutherglen
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For many Australians the joy of having a baby is one of life’s most precious moments.
A birth marks the beginning of a new life, and can bring with it great responsibility and many years of reward.
But for some in our community, these life experiences never eventuate – despite a time-consuming, often costly journey through assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
So now, Victorian families with an experience of IVF are being urged to participate in a wide-ranging review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act – the first conducted in 10 years.
This review is timely, with almost 4 per cent of all births in Victoria resulting from a variety of assisted reproductive treatments, including IVF.
The aim of the review is to ensure the current legislation continues to provide adequate safeguards for people using these services.
A consultation paper and online survey allowing all Victorians to have their say has been released and can be found at https://engage.vic.gov.au.
This survey also includes an option to anonymously and confidentially tell personal stories about experiences with assisted reproductive treatment.
And formal submissions addressing any or all of the questions posed in the consultation paper can be lodged via https://engage.vic.gov.au/ or by email to ART.Review@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
The survey closes and all formal submissions must be received by September 21 for an interim report to be prepared in October. I want to hear from the community, those who have used assisted reproductive technology, and those with specialist knowledge, about their suggested changes and recommended improvements.
I am delighted to be conducting this review, and look forward to engaging with the Victorian community in relation to these important issues.
Michael Gorton (former chair of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority and Patient Review Panel under the current assisted reproductive treatment legislation. Current chair of Alfred Health, Chair of the Australian health Practitioner Regulation Agency)
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