Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Time for Rudd to step in and ensure justice for Maralinga nuclear vets: Greens
The Australian Greens are dismayed by the Rudd Government’s refusal to help Australian veterans of the Maralinga atomic bomb tests of the 1950s and 60s.
"I find it appalling that this government is continuing the shame of past Australian government’s who have ignored these veterans for so long," said Australian Greens Spokesman Scott Ludlam.
"It’s time the Prime Minister stepped in to ensure justice for these Australian military personnel, who’ve been left to their own devices to join a class action against the British Ministry of Defence.
"Veterans’ Affairs Minister Alan Griffin has said the compensation status of these nuclear vets is under review, but vets are still waiting.
"The Australian Greens submitted a detailed question on notice to the minister in early December regarding recognition and entitlements for these veterans and have had no response.
"We particularly want to know if the Rudd government accepts the findings of the British High Court that the UK government has a case to answer for the suffering injury, disability or death in consequence of exposure to ionising radiation during the nuclear tests carried out by the British Government in Australia from 1952 to 1967.
"We know the Australian government was complicit in these tests which saw many soldiers used as human guinea pigs to test deadly chemicals, including mustard gas.
"It’s time this government put an end to this sorry saga in Australian history and help these vets receive the justice they truly deserve," Senator Ludlam concluded.
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