I posted this on March 30th.
Still no acknowledgement - probably a pretty fair indication of the Queensland's government's regard for ex-service personnel.
Given the fashion in which they reward themselves, their self-regard is on a different plane.
Hon Tim Nicholls MP
Member for Clayfield
Treasurer and Minister for Trade
GPO Box 611, Brisbane QLD 4001
I refer to recent decisions regarding remuneration for Queensland parliamentarians.
As you are no doubt aware, increases range from an increase of $70,000 for the Premier, (bringing his annual wage to $379,562) to smaller amounts such as $148,848 P.A. for back bench members.
These increases are backdated from July 2013.
As Treasurer, you are obviously content that the State’s finances are secure enough to provide this level of remuneration (the highest in the country for state members) into the foreseeable future, despite the findings of the Costello audit, and the proposed selling of state owned assets designed to pay off debt.
With this in mind, I respectfully ask you consider a different issue of remuneration relating to Queenslanders who, as public servants, were conscripted to fight in Vietnam.
Like parliamentarians, these people were engaged in what was believed to be at the time, an important public service (the defence of the country) and like parliamentarians, they were remunerated for their service.
Unlike parliamentarians, they were expected to put their lives on the line, and twenty seven Queensland conscripts paid the ultimate price. Unlike parliamentarians, they had no real choice but to serve. The penalty for defying call-up was two years’ imprisonment.
Remuneration for soldiers was a great deal less than for civilian occupations and this was more than often the case for public servants. In my own case as a teacher, the shortfall, in today’s dollars is the amount of $27,550.59. This was despite an additional allowance paid to me on operational service in 7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, in 1970.
I am therefore respectfully requesting a payment of $27, 550.59 as salary owed to me by the state of Queensland for years 1969 – 1970, when I was on compulsory military service. Obviously, similar amounts are owed to all other Queensland public servants who were conscripted.
Given that the state can afford to pay its parliamentarians salaries of the magnitude identified above, there should be no problem finding these relatively small one-off payments to a declining and finite group of returned Queensland service personnel.
My invoice is attached.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Hon Dr John McVeigh
Suite 2, Commercial Union Arcade
566 Ruthven St
TOOWOOMBA QLD 4350
Hon Campbell Newman MP
Member for Ashgrove
Premier of Queensland
PO Box 3010
ASHGROVE QLD 4060