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Army April 26, 2012
RESERVISTS receiving Centrelink benefits are being
encouraged to check for policy inconsistencies when
applying for payments at Centrelink offices.
According to Defence Reserve and Employer
Support Director Ian Flawith, variations have emerged
in the way reserve income is regarded by Centrelink
offices for various benefits. This includes how reserve
employment and income is treated when conducting the
Activity Test for Parenting Payments and Income Tests
for Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy.
Mr Flawith said Defence had liaised with Centrelink
to ensure policy was being applied with consistency
and reservists were treated fairly.
"It has taken substantial effort to clarify the issues
that Centrelink has previously had regarding reserve
employment and income, and to ensure Department of
Human Services policies regarding reserve members
are applied consistently," he said.
Under the provisions of the Department of Human
Services Suitable Activities Policy, reservists receiv-
ing Parenting Payments, by engaging in regular paid
reserve duty for a minimum of 30 hours a fortnight,
meet the employment participation test required to con-
tinue receiving Parenting Payments.
However, reserve service income (pay and allow-
ances) is specifically excluded as income for the
purposes of the Social Security Act, Section 8, Sub-
Section 8. This does not apply to reserve members on
continuous full-time service.
More information on Centrelink benefits and entitlements is avail-
able in the Guide to Social Security Law, available at www.fahcsia.
The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and
Indigenous Affairs website provides guidance for reservists at
Local Centrelink offices can provide information specific to indi-
Learning branch launched
Education and training in Defence soon to be streamlined into single system
PLANS for a single Defence-
wide education and train-
ing system are under way with
the launch of the new Defence
Learning Branch .
The new branch officially joined
the Australian Defence College
(ADC) on March 23.
Announcing the new branch,
VCDF Air-Mshl Mark Binskin said
the ADF's success into the future
depended heavily on the quality of
"Further developing and refining
the management of education and
training will provide Australia with
a clear capability edge," he said.
"The branch will be a key joint
enabler for the delivery of Force
2030 and I will be working closely
with the Deputy Secretary People
and Policy Group to reform educa-
tion and training across Defence."
Commander ADC Maj-Gen
Craig Orme said the Defence
Learning Branch brought together
its management and governance
mechanisms with the college's
"This is a significant step for-
ward in improving our ability to
deliver learning outcomes," he said.
"The branch will support the
skilling of the Defence workforce
by setting the strategic direction and
coordinating and delivering joint,
common and Australian Public
Service education and training."
The Defence Learning Branch
comprises about 135 Defence civil-
ian and uniformed personnel.
The Director General of the
Defence Learning Branch, Brig
Peter Gates, said creating the branch
had been a collaborative effort.
"This spirit of collaboration
is reflected ... in the interaction
between the groups and services
to deliver the people capability
required to realise Force 2030," he
said.The branch is expected to reach
its full capability by the end the
year, two years earlier than origi-
Simplify education and training policy.
Improve governance and how education and
training is managed across Defence.
Allow the department to better understand
education and training costs while improving
its ability to get value for the money.
Promote the cultural changes needed to
ensure focus is on getting 'the right person
with the right skills at the right time".
Develop and promote best practice both
within and outside the department.
Ensure a consistent approach to the develop-
ment and use of education technology.
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