Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

No gold health card for Australia’s atomic veterans

no provision had been made for the children of Maralinga veterans suffering from nuclear-related health problems.

Payment for nuclear veteran ‘not enough’ * Verity Edwards  The Australian * May 23, 2010 AFTER almost 50 years of fighting for compensation, Maralinga veteran Avon Hudson’s frustration has turned into a feeling of intense disappointment.Mr Hudson says the Rudd government’s budget decision to provide nuclear veterans with a pension is just not enough.In particular, he thinks the defence force members who participated in British nuclear testing at Maralinga, Emu Field and the Monte Bello Islands in the 1950s and 60s deserve a health gold card.

The card provides comprehensive health cover paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”What I’m concerned about is that this is trying to buy us off with no assurances,” Mr Hudson said yesterday. “We want the gold card, we want compensation and we want assurances that we won’t have to prove we’ve got a disability.”Based on recommendations of the Clarke Review on veterans’ entitlements, the federal government will provide $24.2 million over five years to nuclear veterans…..
Mr Hudson, 72, said no provision had been made for the children of Maralinga veterans suffering from nuclear-related health problems.

Alan Batchelor, who was “50 yards from ground zero” within an hour of a nuclear detonation in 1957, and later had a child born with deformities, said a study into the children of nuclear veterans was urgently needed.

“If you look at the cancer rate of Maralinga veterans, it’s three times that of Vietnam veterans,” Mr Batchelor said.

There are 2700 surviving ex-defence force members who served at the nuclear testing area.

May 24, 2010 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | , , , , ,

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