Veterans’ Affairs Minister visits Seymour

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester met with Vietnam Veterans and Seymour RSL members to discuss future plans for the area.

By Evelyn Leckie

Vietnam Veterans and Seymour RSL Members met with Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester on Thursday, discussing ways to enhance the commemorative walk on High Street and the future of the Army Tank Museum.

Mr Chester was in Seymour as part of a tour organised by Member for Nicholls Damian Drum, where Nationals MPs flooded the electorate.

Nationals MPs then met in Nagambie on Friday for a conference.

“It was great to see the walk for the first time and get a full appreciation of the amount of work that’s gone into it by the volunteers,” Mr Chester said.

“I’ve had a conversation about some future plans the team has, so we’ll see if we can work together on some of those future improvements.”

Vietnam veteran Hank Kreemers said the veterans and RSL members would like to put a section of brass soldiers throughout the walk.

“The group asked for grants to enhance the area, the brass soldiers scattered throughout the walk would represent soldiers walking through the rubber plantations,” Mr Kreemers said.

Mr Chester said he was keen to work with the Department of Defence to see if they could bring the timeframe forward to resolve access issues to the museum.

“Right now the access is difficult and it’s obviously a concern for locals but also for people who want to visit the region and have the opportunity to get up and close with military equipment,” he said.

“I’ve certainly been involved in conversations in recent weeks regarding the tank museum and the opportunity it would provide to this region to provide more access for people.”

The minster also announced a new veteran’s card that will be introduced in coming weeks, which will assist Veterans with discounts at small businesses.

“The veterans card is part of our new ‘Respect and Recognition’ package so veterans right across Australia will have access to the new veterans pin in the next coming weeks,” Mr Chester said.

“The veteran’s card is a way for small businesses and corporate Australia to show their respect for our serving men and women by providing discounts if they like to veterans in their own community.

“It’s a tangible way the corporate world can say thank you to Australian Defence Force personnel  and it’s one that I think will be very popular within the veteran community.”