DFWA Media Statement – Faceless Bureaucrats Change the Law to Beat Wounded Veterans in Court

Veterans medically discharged, including all those with mental health wounds and at risk of self-harm, can receive an Invalidity Benefit from their superannuation scheme.

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) taxes these variable payments as ordinary income rather than at the lower rates that can be applied to superannuation fund disability benefits.

Since 2015, Veterans have been trying to get the ATO to justify their position and advise what law they are using to treat their invalidity payments this way. The ATO has used every dodgy practice in the book to avoid answering the question.

In 2018, Veterans had the Administrative Appeals Tribunal consider this matter. On 1 June, the ATO’s case developed a “fatal flaw” so they requested an adjournment to “consult” with their bureaucratic masters. Although Justice Logan agreed to the adjournment, he expressed concern that the ATO might try to change the law to fix their case before the Hearing resumed.

On 7 December, two days before the Hearing resumed, changes to the law, backdated to 2007, were made to fix the shoddy ATO argument. In other words, the rules and the goalposts were changed at half-time by the faceless bureaucrats. But this is not a game! The men and women of the ADF are trained to obey the rules, even if it means they might die.

Politicians should not let faceless bureaucrats change the law to beat wounded veterans in court and no Australian should be at risk of having the law changed and backdated in the middle of their court case.

This should not happen to any citizen. Veterans have fought for democracy and the rule of law and call on all Australians to join the fight against this blatant injustice! There will be limited time after the election for the Senate or the House of Representatives to pass a Disallowance Motion negating the retrospective changes affecting the case being heard.

Read more on this matter, including what you can do, on the DFWA website here  or contact the DFWA spokesperson John on 02 5104 3106 or [email protected] .

7th May 2019


  1. Eliseo Censori says

    I have always found laws that are made retrospective should be banned,
    How can something which is legal today be deemed illegal in the future.
    If Justice Logan felt that the ATO might try and change the laws before the resumption of the hearing he should have given only a week adjournment so that the laws could not be changed.
    These lawmakers obviously do not take into consideration the effects they have on real people. SHAME AND WHAT ARE THE POLITICIANS DOING? – Trying to get reelected

  2. Russell Linwood says

    A disgrace, and typical of the people who profess to ‘administer’ us in the so-called Public ‘Service’. Will someone with the technical know-how advise us what we individuals need to do to stop this; aside from voting.

  3. Shirley Orrin says

    This retrospective law should not have been applied. Let our members of parliament vote to have this change rescinded. A fair go to our current and retired military service personnel.

  4. Butch Mathew says

    Laws changed by , soft cocks, who’ve never heard a shot fired in anger, & it’s been going on for years. SHAME SHAME

  5. Mark Stewart says

    Because your like most of us a PATRIOT, Duty First

  6. Colin "Tiny" Russell says

    After reading this and other ongoing “shots” against retired and current serving members, shots that seem to have been going on for years, I often ask myself why did I stay in the green machine after my two years Nasho for as long as I did – lets face it troops, we continue to be a captive audience regardless of what ever party our political masters in power happen to be a part of at any given time