Gina Rinehart digs in for war vets

Article by Joe Spagnolo courtesy of the West Australian.

Gina Rinehart has partnered with the Australian Air Force Association and RSLWA to provide much-needed accommodation for WA war veterans. Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting has bought a property and paid for the refurbishments of an apartment complex in South Perth, which is expected to house nearly 20 war veterans.

RAAFA will manage the nine, two-bedroom apartments and RSLWA will direct tenants to the complex. The property, which will be known as Sir Valston Hancock House – after a former leader of the Royal Australian Air Force and uncle of Mrs Rinehart – is expected to be ready to accept residents in the first half of next year. RAAFA chief executive Michelle Fyfe said about 300 veterans returned to civilian life each year and while most did not need help finding accommodation, “this new targeted program will ensure there is somewhere to turn for those who do”.

“We’re all too aware of the pressures many West Australians are facing to secure accommodation amid the ongoing housing crisis, and veterans – particularly those moving out of Defence back into community life – are no exception,” she said.

“Across Australia nearly 6000 current and former ADF personnel – or 5.3 per cent of our veteran community – are facing difficulty securing accommodation, which is a rate nearly three times higher than the broader population.

“Together with RSLWA, we are proud to be leading the way in providing solutions and more dedicated assistance in WA.” RAAFA will oversee program operations including property maintenance, tenancy agreements, and collaboration with RSLWA, which will be responsible for promoting the program within the veteran community, securing tenants, and managing ongoing engagement with residents including connecting them to wellbeing services.

Both RAAFA and RSLWA paid tribute to Mrs Hancock’s involvement in the project, saying that without her “this important initiative would not have been possible”. “We are grateful for Mrs Rinehart’s generous contribution and her ongoing commitment to veterans’ wellbeing,” RSLWA chief executive Vince Connelly said. “This support is enabling RSLWA and RAAFA to build on our proud legacies of going above and beyond to support WA veterans who have given incredible service’.

Picture – RSLWA CEO Vince Connelly and RAAFA CEO Michelle Fyfe. Credit: Matt Jelonek

Original Article as it appeared in The West Australian






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