Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Federal and South Australian govts won’t help Maralinga veterans!

Premier Mike Rann has said veterans and Aboriginal people affected by the testing deserved compensation from the British government….There have been genetic abnormalities and high levels of cancer among those who witnessed the atomic tests and their offspring.

State refuses to fund Maralinga court battle  Pia Akerman   The Australian * July 29, 2010THE Rann government in South Australia has refused to meet with representatives of Aboriginal people affected by British nuclear tests.

The Aborigines are seeking  funding from state and federal governments for a compensation battle in the British courts over the tests, which took place in the 1950s and 1960s.

The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, representing people living near the test sites in outback South Australia, requested a meeting with state Attorney-General John Rau after the March election to discuss financial support for the compensation claims.

It wants the state and federal governments to grant $250,000 each but Mr Rau has ruled out state funding for the case……

ALRM chief executive Neil Gillespie said he hoped Mr Rau would reconsider given Premier Mike Rann has said veterans and Aboriginal people affected by the testing deserved compensation from the British government……

A spokeswoman for the federal Attorney-General’s Department said the commonwealth only provided funding for foreign litigation “in certain specific exceptional circumstances”.” The Maralinga test cases do not fall within these guidelines,” the spokeswoman said.

About 8000 Australian service personnel worked on the British program, which tested atomic bombs at Maralinga in South Australia’s far west and at Monte Bello Island and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Of those, about 2000 are still alive.

An Australian-based class action involving veteran and Aboriginal victims of Maralinga testing is on hold pending a verdict in the British Ministry of Defence’s appeal against a decision allowing British veterans to sue for compensation.

If the appeal is dismissed Australian claimants will then have 35 days to lodge their applications.

About 240 veterans and their family members are ready to sign.

The number of Aboriginal claimants is expected to be smaller.

There have been genetic abnormalities and high levels of cancer among those who witnessed the atomic tests and their offspring.

State refuses to fund Maralinga court battle | The Australian

July 29, 2010 - Posted by | politics, South Australia | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Please do not be offended if I return to an important time in history…the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.This is not about Japanese nor American atrocities,it is not about the decision to drop the bomb,it is most certainly not about supporting the Japanese as victims or the Americans as heroic terminators of war.

    In the suppression of studies,censorship of the press,stupidly formulated and very late research SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT WAS LOST……the immediate effects of the weapons on the resident population…AND THE FALLOUT…(which has long been denied or later minimised).

    The population changes post bombs were massive,because of escape and internal remigration.The early Japanese attempts to study thye problem were terminated by the occupying forces.Virtually no attempt was made to find out who was really exposed or follow them up.

    A very senior nuclear scientist,a member of the Manhattan project, (Prof Josef Rotblat [google]) used to teach that there was gross underestimation of the casualties becasue of delayed research, the denial of fallout, witholding and secrecy of data (the occupation) and prevention and censorship of Japanese studies (or their ridicule).

    This is all very relevant to British,Australian,New Zealand and American vets who were deliberately exposed to radiation in battlefield conditions to see what would happen (what Rotblat believed,taught us and angered him).What all vets are up against is the official denial that anything untoward occurred,and denial of the real effects of nuclear weapons.

    In an odd way people will have to make contact with the Japanese again,to ask them what they actually found in the weeks and years after the bombs….because the ABCC was more about hiding the truth than finding it.The social position of the Hibakusha,and Japanese cultural reticence have simply played into the hands of big government’s complex motivations for secrecy and distortion.

    The real anxiety about transgenerational transmission of genetic effects of radioactivity needs far greater respect from the research community.Is it possible to form an international alliance of victims of fallout,which would need to include all the vets,the Japanese and the Ukrainian survivors of Chernobyl, a more recent disaster, that has simply been lied about?

    Like

    Comment by Dr.S.Prokop | September 28, 2010 | Reply


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