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Notice given 23 January 2007

2968  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs—

(1) Can the Minister confirm that participants at the Maralinga nuclear tests must independently prove that they were at the tests in order to be eligible for the new white cards; if so, why is this the case given that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that the published document of the preliminary nominal roll was sufficient evidence that they were present.

(2) Does the Government now dispute the fact that those on the roll were present at the tests; if so, on what basis.

(3) If the Government has taken the position that the Epidemiology Studies (Confidentiality) Act 1981 restricts the use of the roll for such purposes, is it the case that this restriction does not apply once the relevant study is completed.

(4) To date, how many: (a) veterans have been issued with white cards; and (b) applications have been made for white cards.

(5) What is the average length of time taken to process applications.

(6) Are veterans who were on ships providing services to the tests entitled to white cards; if not, why not.

(7) How many veterans received: (a) an act of grace compensation; and (b) Comcare compensation, for leukaemia prior to the closure of those schemes.

(8) Given the number of veterans found in the study to have leukaemia, is the Government considering reinstating these schemes; if not, why not.