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Notice given 6 December 2006

2920  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Defence—

(1) What is the total quantity of depleted uranium (DU) munitions that were expended by Allied forces in: (a) Iraq; (b) Bosnia; and (c) Afghanistan.

(2) Given that microscopic particles of DU are dispersed on impact and subsequently carried by the wind, are there any parts of Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan where Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel would not have come into contact with DU contamination; if so, what is the basis for this answer.

(3) With reference to the January 2001 report by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Spiez, that uranium 236 (U236) has particularly dangerous trans-uranic isotopes and has been detected in Kosovo, have any studies been done of U236 contamination in Iraq and Afghanistan; if not, is it reasonable to assume that U236 contamination exists in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in Bosnia.


 (4) With reference to the answer to question on notice no. 1631 (Senate Hansard , 15 October 2003, p. 16585), since March 2003: (a) have health briefings on DU been conducted for all deployments to Iraq; and (b) have there been equivalent briefings for all deployments to Afghanistan; if not, why not.

(5) What health tests are routinely done on ADF personnel returning from Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan to check for any evidence of contamination by DU.

(6) (a) What studies have been undertaken by Australian, or any other nations’ agencies, of the effects of DU munitions on Australian or Allied personnel who have served in Iraq; (b) what have been the results of these studies; and (c) can copies be provided of the reports or findings from these studies.

(7) How many ADF personnel have served in: (a) Iraq; (b) Bosnia; and (c) Afghanistan.

(8) How many ADF personnel have undergone post-deployment medical screening on returning from: (a) Iraq; (b) Bosnia; and (c) Afghanistan.

(9) To date, what are the results of the post-deployment medical screening.

(10) Are any longitudinal studies being undertaken or planned of the health of those veterans.

(11) With reference to the answer to question on notice 1631 paragraph 6(b): (a) can details be provided of the stock of DU munitions held by the ADF; if not, why not; and (b) what happened to this stock.

(12) With reference to evidence given by Air Commodore Austin at the budget estimates hearings of the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislation Committee on the 4 June 2003 (Committee Hansard , p. 368) in response to questions by Senator Bartlett, has the Government now received the full dataset of environmental conditions, monitoring and geospatial information for Iraq from the United States Defence Department; if so, can details be provided of the areas of DU contamination in relation to Australian troop deployment.

2921  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—By medical speciality, does the Government have data on districts of workforce shortage; if so, is Sale in Victoria a district of workforce shortage for specialist paediatrics.