Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC) Advocacy 2020 – 2021

Royal Australian Regiment Corporation (RARC) Advocacy 2020-2021  

The RARC is the national peak body representing the officers and soldiers who have served, are serving or will serve in the Royal Australian Regiment and their families. The Regiment was formed on 23 November 1948 and today the RARC includes the Australian Regular Army Infantry Battalion Associations, including those which are no longer on the order of battle. Over 70% of Australian casualties suffered since our formation have come from our units and we represent upwards of 50,000 men, women and children.

The RARC is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit corporation which exists to advocate for the welfare and wellbeing of our members and their families. In accordance with the Government’s wishes we are a founding member of the Ex Service Organisations Round Table (ESORT) which seeks to provide a consistent voice to Government on veterans’ policy, and also of The Australian Defence Service Organisations ADSO an independent voluntary grouping of all the major Ex Service Organisations, which contributes to the same goal. Both seek to work with DVA

We commend the issues raised in this short paper for the attention of all members of Parliament.


A speedy decision is required by the Federal Government on the recommendations of the Productivity Commission into the DVA in June 2019 and are linked to the 2018 Scoping Study into Veterans’ Advocacy by Robert Cornall


The 2019 Productivity Commission Report into DVA contains many excellent recommendations covering veterans’ policy. However, to suggest as it does, that DVA is not fit for purpose and should be done away with is bordering on the ridiculous. There are also some other unacceptable recommendations such


as the removal or reduction of some Gold Card benefits  After many years in limbo, DVA is finally working hard to provide the services which veterans’ require, and it would be unthinkable to disband it just as it is moving in the right direction.

A response is also needed on the 2018 Scoping Study by Robert Cornall into Veterans’ Advocacy. There is a crisis looming in this most important aspect which deals with claims for disabilities suffered by members of the ADF due to their military service. Their training and qualification requirements have finally been dealt with effectively, but the task of becoming conversant with four acts and the age of many Advocates is leading to large gaps in many parts of the country. Further, although applicants can apply on line, the delays in decision making stemming from making an error are very significant and expert help is strongly recommended.  It is obvious to us that while the current almost universal volunteer Advocate system should continue, there is a need for salaried personnel to be employed in selected areas.


The reinstatement of Regimental Medical Officers to the battalions of the Royal Australian Regiment.


Regimental Medical Officers (RMO) were removed from the regular army infantry battalions several years ago in favour of a military base system of medical centres in which troops are likely to be  seen by a different doctor each time they report sick. This decision has proved to be detrimental to the health and well-being of the battalions and has led to “doctor shopping”. On deployments the battalions are likely to receive a doctor who has no knowledge of the unit and this in its self is a most unsatisfactory arrangement.

RMO have always been essential members of the Commanding Officer’s leadership team along with the RSM and they should be reinstated. Currently there are only 10 units involved (8 battalions and two SF units). It has been suggested that a main reason for the decision was that the doctors did not


receive  sufficient medical experience due to the youth and fitness of the troops. Surely this could be overcome easily by arranging short term, part- time attachments to nearby hospitals or medical centres or by extending some medical care to families as many of our allied armies do already.


There is a requirement for the re-indexation of Military Superannuation benefits.


Currently Military Superannuation schemes are indexed to CPI which is a measure of inflation, not purchasing power. All benefits under DFRB,

and MSBS should be indexed as laid down in the Defence Force Retirement Benefits Fair Indexation Act to ensure that their purchasing power is maintained. Currently this provision only applies to DFRDB.

Issue.  MSBS contributors who have employer contributions and who are under 55 and no longer serving should be able to roll over the contributions into a complying superannuation scheme. 


The need for those who leave the Service before reaching 55, the preservation age, should be able to include these contributions in a complying superannuation scheme.


There is a need for a much more comprehensive post ADF service education scheme than CTAS provides (Career Transition Assistance Scheme) for younger personnel leaving the service, particularly those discharged on medical grounds. 



With the average length of service for soldiers at something under 8 years and ADF medical discharges at around 20%, there is a large number of basic riflemen and equivalent personnel from other corps and services, discharged each year, who are unlikely to have skills relevant to civilian life. It has been proven on numerous occasions that one of the main factors in transitioning to a fulfilling life after military service is satisfying employment.

We applaud the impending formation of a joint DVA, Department of Defence Transition Authority, but we are very sure that the current crop of post ADF service employment programs are not meeting the extent of the need for our departing warriors. We are convinced that what is lacking is a comprehensive post military service education scheme. As useful as it is, CTAS is nowhere near large or broad enough to meet the need. We request that the new Transition investigates what can be done to provide much more comprehensive post service education.       

For further information on Advocacy please refer to the ADSO document “ADSO 2019 – 2022 Policies and Objectives Summary” which is available on The RARC endorses these objectives.

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