A Griffith veteran has criticised the launching of a card which gives discounts to veterans, stating the money spent on the program could be better served assisting veterans transitioning back into everyday life.
Veterans of the Australian Defence Force can apply for the Veterans' Covenant, a new federal government scheme which provides access to more than 10,000 discounts from businesses and a lapel pin which aims to recognise veterans for their service.
However, Griffith RSL sub-branch member and Vietnam veteran Terry Walsh said he does not intend to apply for the covenant as the money spent could be better used to assist transitioning veterans.
"I think it's just another total waste of money that's just a political stunt in my book," Mr Walsh said.
"The money that's being spent on this and the effort that's being put into this could be much better served by assisting veterans who are in genuine need.
"These veterans who leave school, join the army, go and do overseas service, they all seem to be coming back with problems [and] they get out of the military and they are just left to their own devices."
Mr Walsh said while services like the RSL help as a port of call for veterans, the government could do more to help provide options for veterans who require further medical and mental help.
"There's a lot of emphasis being pushed that people like RSL sub-branches should be doing more," Mr Walsh said.
"Well, yes we probably could do more, but we have to know what to do and we should be assisted with that from a government point of view.
"There's got to be a contact point and the RSL and other ex-services organisations can get out there and let people know they're available as a starting point but there's got to be somewhere these guys can be referred to.
"We as a bunch of volunteers are not going to do much for guy with a mental health problem but we've got to be able to put him in a position to be helped."
The scheme, which was initially announced last year, was launched on Sunday.
Federal veterans and defence personnel minister Darren Chester said the card allows businesses to show their appreciation and support for those who have served.
"Our Government is committed to putting veterans and their families first and we provide more than $11 billion every year in support for veterans and their families," Mr Chester said.
"Bringing corporate Australia on board will be a tangible benefit to the veteran community, with the card providing access to services and benefits for eligible veterans."
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