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Former POW'S of Japan receive compensation payment.

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Thursday, 14 June 2001


The Federal Government had carried through its Federal Budget commitment to pay $25 000 compensation to Australians who were held prisoner of war by Japan during World War II, the Member for Mallee John Forrest, said today.

Mr Forrest said the 21 former PoWs of Japan who reside in the Wimmera Mallee would have the payment credited to their bank accounts today.

Mr Forrest said, "They should receive the $25 000 along with their regular DVA pension payment and I encourage them to check their account to make sure the money has arrived.

"If there is any problem with the payment not being credited, they should contact DVA to make sure the department has their correct details".

It is possible that some former PoWs of Japan might not be registered with DVA. These people should contact the department to apply for the payment.

Mr Forrest said the ex gratia payment was also being made to surviving widows of former PoWs of Japan, Australian civilians who were detained or interned by the Japanese during WWII, or their surviving widows/widowers.

"If they have not already done so, persons who think they may be eligible for the payment should contact DVA to apply for the payment.

"The estates of eligible recipients who have passed away since 1 January 2001 can also apply for the payment", Mr Forrest said.

Eligible recipients can make an application or check on a delayed payment by calling the Department of Veterans' Affairs on 133 254.

"While no amount of money can truly compensate those who endured the Japanese PoW camps, this payment is an important acknowledgment of this special group of Australians.

"I am pleased that the Government has acted quickly in the wake of its Budget announcement, to make this compensation available", Mr Forrest said.