Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Government rejects claim by former national servicemen involved in British nuclear tests

Former national servicemen involved in British nuclear test have gold card bids rejected ABC, 4 Dec 17, By political reporter Dan Conifer A former national serviceman involved in a 1950s nuclear test in Australia is pleading for his lifetime healthcare application to be reconsidered.

Key points:

  • Operation Hurricane was the first British nuclear test in Australia and took place at the Montebello Islands
  • Ken Palmer believes exposure to radiation from a nuclear blast contributed to his illnesses
  • The national servicemen are now pleading to have their cases reviewed by Dan Tehan

Ken Palmer, 83, believes exposure to radiation from the blast has contributed to illnesses, including cancers.

“Please Mr Minister … you’ll still be in the job for a little while, make a clean breast of things, let your guard down a bit,” he said, referring to Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan.

Mr Palmer was a teenager aboard HMAS Murchison in October 1952 when he saw “a big mushroom cloud” form on the horizon.

Operation Hurricane was the first British nuclear test in Australia and took place at the Montebello Islands, off Western Australia’s coast.

“It’s about five operations I could safely put down to being at Montebello,” Mr Palmer said.

He attributed having both thyroid glands removed to the nuclear test, along two hip procedures, back surgery, and having his prostate removed.

This year’s federal budget included $133 million to give nuclear veterans gold cards, providing lifelong no-gap medical care.

But Mr Palmer’s application was rejected by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs…….

Those aboard the ship have long argued they were as close as nine kilometres away, saying photographs taken moments after detonation prove their claims.

To qualify for gold cards, the national servicemen had to be within 10 kilometres.

“Was there a curtain they put up to stop the radiation heading towards our ship? I doubt it. I didn’t see it,” Mr Palmer said.

Veterans advocates estimate about 60 national servicemen were on the navy ship.

Another former ‘nasho’ aboard the HMAS Murchison, who has also been knocked back, estimated fewer than a dozen of his crewmates were still alive.

Mr Palmer, who is in hospital ahead of surgery on Tuesday, said: “This is our last stand.”…..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-12-04/veterans-have-gold-card-bids-rejected/9221780

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December 4, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war

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