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The Liberal and Nationals Government will provide $5 million for wellness facilities in the Mackay region to benefit veterans, Defence personnel and their families.

Veteran Wellbeing Centres provide a one-stop shop, established in partnership with an ex-service or community organisation, to better help connect veterans to extensive support and advocacy services already available, with a strong focus on health and wellbeing.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said it was critical that our respected veterans and Defence Force members have the support they need.

“Australians would not have our way of life if it were not for past and present members of our Defence Force and their families. We must ensure they are supported,” Deputy Prime Minister Joyce said.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said the $5 million in funding would be a welcome boost for veterans in the area.

“We have already delivered six Veteran Wellbeing Centres around the country, with more on the way in South-East Queensland, Tasmania and the Hawkesbury region and I have seen firsthand the positive effects they have on those who use them,” Minister Gee said.

“It’s part of our national approach to delivering integrated support services to veterans and their families by working with local organisations and the local defence and veteran community.

“Those on the ground know best what the community needs, and these centres are all about providing local solutions to local veteran issues.”

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said we must always look after the men and women of our Defence forces and their families, who have served our nation in uniform.

“Veteran wellness facilities are a vital hub for accessing health, education and employment support, and a place for our veterans and their families to connect with their mates,” Ms Landry said.

“Today’s announcement will be fundamental in ensuring that local veterans can access a range of services right here in the Mackay region to help with their transition to civilian life.”

LNP candidate for Dawson Andrew Willcox said there were two great projects in the Mackay region which could be supported.

“I am thrilled to see funding of up to $5 million which could be utilised to progress both the social and wellness centre proposed by Mackay RSL, and the PTSD Frontline proposal for a veterans hub at Kinchant Dam,” Mr Willcox said.

“These are great projects and I am keen to work with both proponents to ensure the maximum benefit for our veterans and their families.”

There will be a process in coming months to determine how funding will be allocated to achieve the best outcome for veterans in the Mackay region.

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