Congratulations to all those who participated in OPERATION LETTER RAID. It was an amazing effort and we know that Parliament House was inundated with several thousand letters during the 15 –18th August. The politicians can pretend it didn’t happen, but we know it did.
Well done everyone.
It was great to see the Defence family, all working together for a common cause, all three Services involved for the common good of all our members. We have no doubt that the politicians must recognize that we are a very large, cohesive and well- organized group. This has resulted in the apparent readiness of some politicians to engage more openly with representatives from The Alliance of the Defence Service Organisations (ADSO). However, let us not be fooled as this has happened before and we cannot sit back and expect the politicians to accommodate our demands.
As many of our members have been receiving letters from politicians, or from their offices, in response to our OPERATION LETTER RAID, we know for certain that our registered letters did arrive at Parliament House. In fact, one reliable source indicated that some politicians had t o employ additional staff to cater for the increased spike in letters being received. However, this has not resulted in the plight of our military superannuants being raised in the House of Representatives.
On the one hand, the Government continues to treat us with absolute contempt and their rare letters of response arrogantly refer us back to the Mathews Report and to a Fact Sheet which could be best described as fanciful!! Letters from the Opposition continue to reassure us that once in power, they will remedy the question of fair indexation for military superannuants.
We should all remember that we have been fighting this fight for the last two decades with all governments and we should not take anything for granted until the appropriate legislation is enacted.
Complacency will not win the day!
We encourage all members to write a follow up letter to the politicians to whom they sent their initial letters, if they have not received a response within three weeks.
This time letters need not be registered and we also encourage members to flood our politicians with emails demanding a personal response to their initial letters.
We must keep reminding the politicians that we are still here and they can ignore us as much as they like, but the bottom line is we are not going to go away. We always knew there would be disappointments and we readily acknowledge that many people went to considerable expense by posting their letters by registered mail (some members sent as many as sixty to eighty letters). This is no time to say it was a wasted effort. On the contrary, it is time to increase our resolve and our determination to convince the politicians that this National scandal must be righted – and it must be righted now, not just before the next election in 2013. Too many of our recipients will not be around to benefit!!
We encourage all our members to continue writing to, or emailing, their local politicians, including their State Senators, about this terrible injustice. We must keep this matter right under their noses.
To date, while we have received some coverage, we have not gained maximum exposure in any of the major media outlets. Their standard response seems to be that they want a human side to the issue before it becomes newsworthy. So we urge anyone who is willing to and who would like to put their case forward as an example of the difficulties being experienced by those trying to survive on a DFRB/DFRDB superannuation to contact us.
We understand and respect your rights and privacies, however, if we do not get people to come forward, the media will not proceed any further with this story. We are working on this and hopefully, we will have some more information in the next SITREP.
Our website, www.justafairgo.net has been opened for just over a month and we have already doubled our registered members to approximately 1,600. This is awesome progress, but when we put it into perspective, we have hardly scratched the surface.
Of the 1,600 registered members, nearly 500 of them are actually serving members from all three Services, from all ranks, Colonel to Private and their equivalents.
However, there are approximately 56,000 DFRB/DFRDB recipients and we need to continue to recruit as many of these members as we can. This is where we need your help as many of these people will be unaware of the Fair Go Campaign, or they may not have access to a computer.
Please continue to post these SITREPs in your newsletters or hand deliver a copy to your mates. There is much more we can do to get all our members involved. Talk to your mates at your local RSL Club and get your Committee to write a letter of support and post it on the net. It is the grass roots and people power that will win the day.
WE NEED YOUR HELP to inspire others to become involved, just as you are.
The March to Canberra
To date the cry “THE MARCH TO CANBERRA HAS BEGUN, WILL YOU JOIN US” has been a metaphorical call to get people to join the fight for “A FAIR GO”. For too long, our members have sat back, complained bitterly and did absolutely nothing, expecting someone else to win the fight for them.
This has changed dramatically, as evidenced by the huge increase in members talking to each other, expressing ideas and a willingness to become involved in whatever way they can, including the provision of accommodation.
If push comes to shove, and as a last resort, we may have to seriously consider actually “MARCHING TO CANBERRA”.
We observed the experiences and conduct of the CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE very carefully and we believe t here are very valuable lessons to be learnt. If it is decided to conduct such a march, then it must be meticulously organized. It must be for more than one day, and in fact, should be a minimum of three days.
Unless we have at least 5,000 Ex-Service personnel, plus at least the same number of family members (a minimum of 10,000 people in total) committed in writing, to participate, then it would be counter-productive.
We saw how contemptuously and arrogantly the Greens/ALP Government treated the CONVOY OF NO CONFIDENCE. The Prime Minister did not even have the courtesy to speak with the participants and the Government dismissed them as the CONVOY OF NO CONSEQUENCE.
As the media have continuously refused to give any credence to our plight, our next proposed plan of action is to inundate selected media outlets with letters and emails, along the same lines as OPERATION “LETTER RAID”. We will select one major TV station, one major newspaper and one major radio station in each capital city and each regional centre, particularly in marginal seats and request our members to flood them with letters and emails outlining our plight.
Draft letters will be provided for members and their family members. These must be new letters, (not the same ones as were sent to the politicians) couched in simple terms so that members of the public will understand what we are trying to achieve and why. These letters need not be registered. If everyone of these out lets receives a hundred letters or more, we believe they may take up our story.