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Wednesday, 13 May 1981
Page: 2373

(Question No. 840)


Mrs Darling asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 24 March 1981:

(1) Can the Minister say whether an independent research team has discovered that more than 50 per cent of Vietnam veterans are suffering brain damage symptoms, e.g., emotional imbalance, memory loss and a tendency towards outbreaks of violence.

(2) If so, can he also say whether the official results of this survey are to be published in the Australian Medical Journal.

(3) Did the research reveal that the brain damage referred to had been caused by an imbalance of copper and zinc levels in the bodies of the veterans.

(4) Is the imbalance the result of exposure to chemicals used in the Vietnam war.

(5) Do these chemicals include 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D and various arsenic-based chemicals.

(6) Are the pharmaceutical medications used to treat the damage available in Australia.

(7) Are these medications being imported from other countries by the Vietnam Veteran's Action Association.


Mr Thomson —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) to (7) I am aware of Press reports quoting a spokesman for the New South Wales Vietnam Veteran's Action Association as making statements on the points raised in the honourable member's questions. However, as neither the Department of Veteran's Affairs nor I have received a research report on any of the matters referred to, I am unable to comment upon the accuracy of the Press reports.