Wednesday, June 24, 2015

WA Government agrees to examine new information on Agent Orange legacy
WA Agriculture Minister Ken Baston says he will examine any new information on reports of generational health problems from toxic chemicals linked to Agent Orange in the Kimberley.
During the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of mostly Indigenous men were employed by the Agricultural Protection Board to eradicate weeds across parts of the West Kimberley.
With no protection gear offered for much of that time the men were routinely exposed to the now banned substance 2-4-5-T, an ingredient in the defoliant Agent Orange.
Families of the workers have continued to report ill-health, and believe the chemicals were responsible for a range of illnesses affecting the workers' partners, children and grandchildren.
Mr Baston said there had been a considerable amount of health and scientific work done on the issue over a long period of time.
"If claimants have any new information it should be presented to Government ... and supported by appropriate documentation by health professionals, so it can be examined," he said.
After three inquiries in the early 2000s the then government offered a "fast track" compensation option for those affected.
Around 70 men have since applied but only eight have been compensated, all former workers with cancer.

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