February 27, 2004 - Mr Chapple, who has asked in excess of 20 questions in the House relating to the plight of APB Workers, and initiated the Inquiry into the sourcing of chemicals, today commended the Government for having gone some way to acknowledging the plight of the former workers and their families who have suffered from 245T exposure.

'For that, the Government must be congratulated' said Mr Chapple.

'At least some of those workers, those with cancer, and in the case of those workers who have died of cancer; their dependants, will now have access to lodge a claim for compensation. It is a start,' stated Mr Chapple.

'The Minister believes this matter has been investigated fully, and he is now satisfied that the Government has done that. ' I am not', said Mr Chapple. 'My initial response would be that not all information available has been considered.'

The Government chose to ignore a recommendation by the Expert Panel that a formal survey of serum TCDD levels be conducted in APB workers and a comparison population in the Kimberley. 'The Government's rationale is not based on all the evidence,' said Mr Chapple. 'How is that investigating the matter fully?'

This further report, known as the Armstrong Report, was commissioned by the Government, after failing to accept many of the findings of the Harper Report. The Government states that the Armstrong Report was an Expert Panel.

Is the Government saying it knows better?

Whilst this report acknowledges that the APB workers may suffer or have suffered an increased risk of cancer, it does not acknowledge that any other symptoms of ill health can be attributed to their exposure to herbicides. How does this help their claims for workers compensation?

'People deserve to know what happened. The workers and their families deserve to know what happened. The families of those people who paid the ultimate price for their employment, and died of cancer can at least have some closure. As to the rest of the people – I am not convinced that the Government has done all it can to assist them', stated Mr Chapple.

Go to top