Mr J BULL (Sunbury) (19:20:46): (510) My matter for the adjournment debate is for the Minister for Veterans.
Like so many in this house, I spent Anzac Day attending local services in my electorate. Anzac Day provides an opportunity for local communities to come together to honour and reflect upon the thousands of brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our wonderful country.
It is also an opportunity for us to say thank you for, to remember and to acknowledge the sacrifices made for freedom and an the opportunity to reflect on the life we live today.
It is also an opportunity for us to reflect upon the values we share, how we protect them and the path we set for our future. It is a time when we consider what more can be done to support those who have served and their families.
That is why I was so moved and motivated by local Jeb Summers, a young Sunbury veteran who spoke at the 10.30 a.m. service. Jeb, who I have known for many years, has grown up in Sunbury—we are of a similar age—and he spoke passionately about his very real, very difficult struggle in coping with PTSD after serving our nation bravely.
Jeb told hundreds at our local service of his battle with alcohol and drugs and of adjusting to life after the horrors of war. Devastatingly, these struggles that Jeb outlined are all too common. Our veterans face many struggles upon returning from service.
It is my belief that because of the many lessons—years and years of hard work by returned service men and women, RSLs across the country and commitments by all sides of politics, both state and federal—we have come a long way in this space.
There is of course more work to be done. In a quiet and brief but powerful chat I had with Jeb after the service, I made the point that it was my view that these issues need to be dealt with at a federal level, with federal leadership.
Of course service to our nation is exactly that, and the federal government must lead in this space. Despite this, the state government has an important role to play, and the action that I seek in this adjournment matter is for the Minister for Veterans to take the opportunity to meet with Jeb and me to discuss his powerful story and share ideas and initiatives about how further advocacy can be made to the federal government in this very important space.