24 February 2012

Aussie Govt's search for F-111 fuel tank maintenance workers continues

Today the Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, called for all F-111 fuel tank maintenance workers to come forward to check their eligibility for entitlements.

“I encourage all those who participated in F-111 fuel tank maintenance work between 1973 and 2000, and have not come forward to the Department, to please get in contact,” he said.

Mr Snowdon said it was important to make sure that everyone who did this work checked their eligibility for entitlements including compensation and health care.

An estimated 2,400 additional people gained easier access to entitlements from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 for medical conditions linked to F-111 fuel tank repair, after the 2010 Budget.

“The Government wants to identify all F-111 aircraft fuel tank maintenance workers, not just those who are sick,” he said.

“If you, a family member or a mate undertook F-111 fuel tank maintenance work, please call the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on 1800 555 323 as soon as possible.”

Mr Snowdon said the Australian Government had committed $55 million over four years to ensure more F-111 fuel tank maintenance personnel had access to compensation and health care for certain conditions.

“For those workers who are unwell as a result of their service, there is a range of benefits available including health care schemes, counselling and compensation,” he said.

“There is also an ex-gratia scheme available to certain personnel who worked in the RAAF’s F-111 formal deseal/reseal programs.

“The Department has undertaken considerable promotion of the F-111 compensation package to date but there are still people out there who have not yet come forward.”

The Government’s compensation package was provided in response to a 2009 Parliamentary Inquiry into entitlements and benefits for former F-111 deseal/reseal and associated fuel tank maintenance workers including ‘pick and patch’ workers.

For more information on the F-111 compensation package visit here.

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