darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785


Forestry contractors from Gippsland have taken their fight to protect their industry and jobs to Canberra. Reynolds Logging managing director Reece Reynolds (centre left) from Buchan South and Blair and Campbell managing director Adam Campbell (centre right) from...


Two municipalities in Gippsland will receive extra money from the Federal Government to help rebuild infrastructure lost in the bushfires. East Gippsland Shire Council and Wellington Shire Council will receive the funding through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency....

Free mental health coaching now available in Gippsland

Gippsland communities, including those affected by recent bushfires, will be the first in Victoria to benefit from Beyond Blue’s NewAccess – a free program delivering practical advice about how to manage the pressures and stresses of everyday life. Designed by Beyond...


Foreign backpackers and others on working holiday visas will be able to help bushfire-affected communities get back on their feet following changes announced today by the Morrison Government. Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and...


Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has announced $20,000 in funding to help protect and enhance a popular walking track at Lakes Entrance. The Entrance Walk starts near the pedestrian bridge at Main Beach and continues 2.4 kilometres towards the entrance. Mr...


Local MP Darren Chester has welcomed changes that promise to better help drought-affected farmers seeking financial assistance from the Federal Government. Mr Chester said many farmers had raised concerns with him about the complexity of the application process to...


The Member for Gippsland has called on amateur photographers across Gippsland to photograph their favourite parts of the region and help promote the unique attractions of our towns, farms and natural landscapes.

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Darren’s Twitter

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 2:46am
Sad to hear about the loss of a great Australian. Vale Arnold Forrester. #TYFYS https://t.co/3U4IzOlJb6
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Darren Chester MP @DarrenChesterMP
This is Arnold Forrester and today he turns 100 years old. Arnold, born in Daylesford, joined the @AustralianArmy in 1942 and served in New Guinea as a Lance Corporal with 39 Australian Infantry Battalion. Happy birthday, Arnold and thank you for your service. #TYFYS #OurVeterans https://t.co/5ROI81mHxQ
Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 2:22am
Today we commemorate 50 years since Operation Hammersley during the Vietnam War. Sadly 12 Australians were killed, 59 wounded & a further 2 killed in the days after. To those who served in Operation Hammersley & in the Vietnam War more broadly, thank you for your service. #TYFYS https://t.co/c6x0EofvK1 DarrenChesterMP photo
Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 2:00am
Bloody wet on the Princes Highway at Trafalgar - stay safe on the roads everyone. Slow down and drive to the conditions #lovegippsland https://t.co/ds6oEFr0pM DarrenChesterMP photo

Darren’s Facebook

Darren Chester MP

Official Page of The Nationals Member for Gippsland, Federal Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel. Check out Darren's personal page at https://www.facebook.com/darren.chester.524
Darren Chester MP
Darren Chester MP shared a post.Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 5:45am
Just heard the news that Arnold Forrester has passed away. Vale a proud Australian. #TYFYS
Darren Chester MP
Darren Chester MPTuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 5:22am
Today we commemorate 50 years since Operation Hammersley during the Vietnam War.

Operation Hammersley began when C Company, 8th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment (8RAR) and supporting elements that included a troop of tanks, a troop of armoured personnel carriers, combat engineers and a mortar section were ordered to secure a quarry site at the foot of the Long Hai hills. As the Australians met with early success during Hammersley, the Operation’s scope increased until most of 8RAR became involved.

The early stages of fighting were characterised by infantry ambushes carried out by both sides. While the Australians had the support of armoured vehicles, they were at a disadvantage, facing an enemy able to make use of the shelter offered by the many caves running beneath the Long Hai hills. Hindered by the rugged terrain, the armour was also in constant danger from land mines which caused casualties among the infantry and armoured personnel.

Sadly 12 Australians were killed and 59 wounded during Operation Hammersley, with a further two servicemen killed in the days immediately following the Operation’s conclusion.

The Vietnam War had a profound impact on Australia and we owe veterans of this conflict our respect and recognition.

To those who served in Operation Hammersley and in the Vietnam War more broadly, thank you for your service.

Darren Chester MP
Darren Chester MPTuesday, February 18th, 2020 at 1:08am
A big happy birthday to Edward (Athol) Howard who turns 100 years old today.

Born in Perth, WA, Athol enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force in May 1940. He served with the 6th Australian Division in the Middle East, Greece and New Guinea. While in Greece, Athol received multiple shrapnel wounds from a dive bomber. At discharge in October 1945, Athol was a Staff Sergeant with 2/22 Field Park Company.

Athol remembers the friendships with other fellows as the top thing about his service. He was best man at the wedding of one of his mates during the war.

He advises younger serving personnel to stick with their family, as it’s the love and care of family that has kept Athol going and he attributes this to his long life.

Happy birthday again, Athol and thank you for your service. #TYFYS #OurVeterans

About Darren

Darren Chester was elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Gippsland on June 26, 2008.

Darren Chester was sworn in as the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC on 5 March 2018.


Gippsland is one of the most diverse regions in Australia and our community is dispersed across 33,000 square kilometres.

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