LOCAL military veterans marched on Federal member Mike Kelly's office last Friday to publicise the difficulties of living on a military pension.
Jerrabomberra veteran and local area coordinator for the Defence Force Welfare Association, Geoff Schmitd, said the pension was not meeting cost of living pressures.
The group are calling for military pensions to be indexed in the same way as the old age pension and politicians pensions, and not beholden to the Consumer Price Index.
"We're finding that the buying power of the pension, particularly for lower ranked people who get less pension, is falling way behind. We were told in good faith when we joined the military that if you do 20 years' service, we'll give you a pension which will look after you and your wife for a lot of years," Mr Schmitd said.
"We want the index to be consistent with old aged pensions and politicians pensions."
The vets discussed the issue with Dr Kelly - an ex-serviceman himself - at Country Heir café last Friday, and Dr Kelly pledged to put forward a bill calling for both military and public service retirees to share the same indexation as the old age pension.
"He wants to put his bill up covering both public servant retirees and military retirees," Mr Schmitd said.
"In fairness to Mike [Kelly], he says 'I've got more retired public servants in my electorate than I have military retirees, and I've got to represent my electorate.' I think we've got the short straw, but we can see from it his view point."
Association Executive Director Alf Jaugietis said while the veterans sympathised with the similar plight of public servant retirees, military retirees were a special case.
"We do understand their plight just as much. But we have another case that's important to us, and that is that military service is quite unique. We're asked to go and shoot people, and we've got to take orders to front up and potentially be shot. No one else does that- no fireman or policeman is asked to do that," Mr Jaugietis said.
"The other thing that is often forgotten is that it's been a condition of service that's actually been taken away. It's non-discretionary obligation on the budget of 30 years standing, and largely that's what's been forgotten.
"We want our pensions indexed more fairly than the CPI. CPI is something that went out 20 years ago. It's an inflationary measure today- not a cost of living measure. In the 70s it probably was rightfully a cost of living measure, but it's been well accepted over the last 20 years that CPI is just not a measure at all in that sense," he said.
The Queanbeyan group were joined in their campaign by veterans across the country, who marched on federal electorate offices to argue their case.
Dr Kelly told the Queanbeyan Age he understood the difficulties facing military retirees, and was currently working with the Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association (SCOA) and the Defence Force Welfare Association (DFWA) to find a solution.In a speech to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, he said:
"I will never cease my efforts to achieve an outcome in this respect. I am committed to work for as long as it takes to achieve that result".
"This government has an incredible record of delivering for veterans in this country - greater than any government preceding it," Dr Kelly said.