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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3220


Mr Uren asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 1 April 1980:

(   1 ) Have any claims for compensation been received by his Department alleging that disease or disability resulted from employment at the British atomic weapons tests and subsequent experiments and cleanup operations in South Australia; if so, how many.

(2)   In each case, what was the (a) date the claim was received by his Department and (b) cause of death or the nature of the disability.

(3)   In how many cases was it alleged that radiation exposure resulted in death or disability.

(4)   Which claims have been determined and in each case what was the determination.


Mr Killen - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) Seven claims for compensation received by my Department have been identified as relating to conditions allegedly contracted as a result of the British atomic tests held in Australia. In addition a claim was referred to my Department for certain information relating to a claim lodged by the widow of an ex-officer of the Bureau of Customs, Department of Business and Consumer Affairs. It is possible that there could have been other claims, but if so they have not been readily identifiable as relating to the atomic testing.

(2)   , (3) and (4) Details of the individual claims are as follows:

Claim 1- Received from window 30 August 1971. Condition claimed was for 'carcinomatosis, exposure to radioactive dust'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radioactive dust in the Woomera area. Claim was disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees' Compensation on S May 1972, based on specialist medical opinion. An application for Judicial Review was lodged in February 1973 and as a result of the presentation of a further specialist medical opinion the Commissioner for Employees' Compensation revoked his previous determination of 5 May 1972 and determined in the claimant's favour on 2 April 1974 that the death of her husband resulted from a disease, namely carcinomatosis, due to the nature of his employment by the Department of Defence (Army Office).

Claim 2- Received on 13 March 1972. Condition claimed was for 'nervous disorder- anxiety neurosis'. Allegedly attributable to anxiety, tension and living conditions whilst engaged on decontamination duties at Maralinga. Liability was accepted by the Commissioner for Employees' Compensation on 13 July 1973, in respect of 'chronic phobic anxiety state resulting from aggravation of a pre-existing agoraphobic syndrome '.

Claim 3- Received on 6 June 1972. Condition claimed was for 'malignant melanoma of the back'. Allegedly attributable to radiation exposure at Maralinga. Disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees ' Compensation on 26 November 1 975 on the basis of specialist medical opinion.

Claim 4- Received on 18 August 1977. Condition claimed was for 'chronic myeloid leukaemia'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst on seagoing duties 100 km off Monte Bello Island. Disallowed by the Commissioner for Employees' Compensation on 30 November 1979 on the basis of specialist medical opinion.

Claim 5- Received on 4 May 1978. Condition claimed was for 'gout'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation at Maralinga. Disallowed by the Commissioner for

Employees' Compensation on 31 August 1979, on the basis of specialist medical opinion.

Claim 6- Received on 19 March 1980. Condition claimed is for 'hurtble cell carcinoma of thyroid gland'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst on flying duties at Woomera. Claim being investigated.

Claim 7- Received from widow on 27 March 1980. Condition claimed is for death resulting from 'cancer of the oesophagus'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst at Woomera. Claim being investigated.

Claim 8- Received from widow by Department of Business and Consumer Affairs- Bureau of Customs on 25 June 1979 (Referred to my Department for certain information). Condition claimed is for death resulting from hepatic failure ( 1 week), carcinoma rectum, liver secondaries and bronchopneumonia'. Allegedly attributable to exposure to radiation whilst employed as Sub-collector of Customs at Onslow in 1956. Claim being investigated.







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