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Tuesday, 21 August 1984
Page: 12

Senator RICHARDSON —Is the Minister representing the Minister for Defence aware of recent Press reports which have suggested a link between three young sailors who have contracted leukaemia in their work as painters at Naval Air Station, Nowra? Has an investigation of the claim that certain paints and allied compounds used by the Navy at Nowra may have caused these young men to contract leukaemia been initiated? What are the results of this investigation and, further, is the Government considering granting any compensation to the victims and their families?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I am advised by the Minister that the Navy is aware of three cases of leukaemia in sailors posted to the Naval Air Station at Nowra. A survey of chemicals, including paints with which the sailors may have had contact, has been carried out but none of these has been found to contain known causes of leukaemia. Further research into the matter is continuing. Any claim for compensation would certainly be considered under the Compensation ( Commonwealth Government Employees) Act or the repatriation system. In that event Navy would, of course, make available any relevant records.