urlBot.png, 6.7kB urlBot.png, 6.7kBIn the 1980’s, both Australian servicemen and traditional Aboriginal occupants of the Maralinga site began to fall ill. After pressure from several lobby groups, the government held a royal commission, called the Royal Commission into British nuclear tests in Australia or the McClelland Royal Commission, after chairman James McClelland. This commission ultimately found that there were still significant radiation hazards around many of the original test sites, and ordered the set up of a Technical Assessment Group to assess the situation and better advise on options for the rehabilitation of the area.

In 1993 the British Government paid the Australian Government 20 million pounds sterling toward the cost of the clean of the testing sites. In 1994, the Australian Government paid the Maralinga Tjarutja, indigenous inhabitants of the Maralinga area, a compensation settlement of $13.5 million dollars for the damage to their lands. However, the victims of the nuclear testing, including ex-servicemen and civilians have still not been compensated for their illnesses and loss.

urlBot.png, 6.7kB urlBot.png, 6.7kBFollowing a landmark British ruling, which gave British Maralinga veterans the right to sue their government for compensation, a group of Australian ex-servicemen, and numerous Veteran's associations, are set to join the class action.

As a direct result of the 1993 agreement between the Australian and British Governments, any compensation awarded in this class action will ultimately be paid for by the Australian Government.

Represented by Tom Goudkamp of Australian law firm, Stacks/Goudkamp, it was decided by the ex-servicemen that it was best to pursue the case together with the British veterans in London rather than through Australian courts. About 100 Australian veterans are ready to join the class action, but there are still hundreds of other nuclear veterans and their families who may be eligible to be part of the class action.

If you or someone you know has suffered from the nuclear tests in Maralinga, register your interest for the class action and a representative from Stacks/Goudkamp will contact you.

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