Dr WOODRUFF - On post-service employment for veterans, in 2019 the then state president of RSL spoke to you about the New South Wales Government's veteran's employment program and the possibility of a similar model in Tasmania. New South Wales aims to assist 1000 veterans in achieving employment with the New South Wales Government by 2023. Approximately 1200 veterans are discharged in New South Wales every year. That program in New South Wales has exceeded its previous targets significantly each year. In Tasmania 420 veterans discharge each year. At the end of the 2019 20 financial year there were just under 8500 veterans who were employed or volunteering in emergency services here, which is amazing and fantastic. There are 2268 employees, 6200 volunteers. Minister, you provided advice in 2019 to the president of the RSL saying you'd look into it. After numerous phone and face-to-face follow-up contact since then, nothing has eventuated. Will you commit to relooking into that and having a conversation with the new president about what progress you can make towards that?
Mr BARNETT - We have followed up on that matter. I've sought advice from the department and a veterans reference group. The veterans' reference group has been working on an employment strategy for Tasmanians, specifically with respect to the State Service. We are now in the final stages of working through a veterans employment strategy, which is designed to attract, recruit and retain veterans and ex service personnel by a range of measures, including establishing a website or portal to provide information to veterans on public service employment, a skills to grade guide to allow a veteran to identify where their skillset sits compared to State Service positions, undertaking a dedicated recruitment campaign, establishing a partnership with RSL Tasmania which provides employment support to veterans and undertaking data collection on veterans currently employed in the public service.
The veterans reference group has also provided feedback on what the strategy should cover and potential actions the Government can take to support our ex serving community. We made a commitment at the 2021 state election on employment in our State Service. We expect in the second half of this year to release that strategy. I'm looking forward to its release.
Dr WOODRUFF - Fantastic. With projected targets like New South Wales does?
Mr BARNETT - We'll have more to say once the strategy is finalised. We would not be releasing it if we weren't pleased and proud with the approach that we're taking. We also acknowledge that there's always more work to do. We're very thankful for the input that we've had to date from the department, from the reference group, from RSL Tasmania and others in the veterans community. I'm looking forward to the release of that strategy.