ADF Firefighter Scheme - Support Package Announced
The Air Force Association’s lengthy lobbying for financial and health support for ADF firefighters who served at RAAF Point Cook Fire Training School from 1957-86 has finally paid off.
On 11th May 2021 the Morrison Government announced in its Federal Budget 2021-22 a financial and health support package for ADF Firefighters who served at the RAAF Base Point Cook Fire Training School between 1st January 1957 and 31st December 1986.
This decision has been welcomed by the AFA, which has lobbied tirelessly for over 2 years to obtain recognition for firefighters exposed to a wider range of hazardous substances during their time at the Fire Training School during this period.
About The Scheme
The ADF Firefighter Scheme, as it is to be known, is in recognition of the potential for health effects from being exposed to a wide range of hazardous substances during historical fire training, when Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not of the same standard available today.
The Air Force Association argued on the basis of the hazardous chemicals detected at Point Cook Fire Training School and potential for exposure due to a lack of adequate PPE, that there was a likelihood for a risk of serious health issues. The Government recognises the risks faced by these firefighters and the limitations in evidence available to support claims.
The Air Force Association is grateful to the Government and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) for providing a remedy for these veterans.
The Scheme is expected to commence from 20th September, 2021, with eligibility being retrospective to Budget night – 11th May, 2021. This will allow time for the scheme to be established. An Application Form for the Scheme is currently being developed.
In the meantime, those who undertook fire training at the Point Cook facility between 1957 and 1986 are being invited to “pre-register” for the Scheme. By pre-registering, DVA may be able to determine your eligibility more efficiently if the Department has your relevant service information prior to the commencement of the scheme. Please email ADF.FIREFIGHTER.SCHEME@DVA.GOV.AU with your service and any existing claims details (if you have them) to register your interest in the Scheme.
You do not need to be sick to apply
The Scheme recognises the need for a preventative health strategy. You do not need to be sick to apply. Eligibility under the Scheme provides access to the free Healthy Lifestyle program and colorectal and melanoma screening. You can submit a compensation claim for any of the prescribed (and diagnosed) conditions any time after you are eligible. There is no time limit.
Who will benefit?
Approximately 300 living ADF Firefighters are expected to benefit. The Scheme will also consider other ADF personnel, where it can be established that they undertook fire suppression training at the Fire Training School as per the eligibility criteria.
What will the ADF Firefighter Scheme provide?
Eligibility under the firefighter Scheme:
- provides access to a preventative health strategy, including free colorectal and melanoma screening as well as free participation in a Healthy Lifestyle (Heart Health) Program.
- provides an easier pathway for DVA to accept a claim under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA) for one or more of a list of 31 prescribed conditions, including all cancers (refer to the Table 1 below). However, a separate claim will still need to be submitted for those condition/s. The acceptance of claims will subsequently enable the provision of medical treatment, rehabilitation and compensation (subject to the current legislative rules).
- is limited to those with eligibility under the DRCA. However, it does not prevent claims also being lodged under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) or the Military, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) if eligibility also exists under those Acts. However, any entitlements received under more than one Act for the same condition may be subject to compensation offsetting.
What if I have previously claimed?
Scheme eligible personnel who have had claims previously rejected under the DRCA for any of the prescribed health conditions should make a new DRCA claim and highlight their eligibility under the scheme.
Table 1: List of 31 diagnosed Health Conditions covered by the ADF Firefighter Scheme
|Eczema / Dermatitis||Panic Disorders|
|Multiple Sclerosis||Impaired Cognition|
|Parkinson’s Disease||Agoraphobia with Panic Disorder|
|Peripheral Neuropathy||Malignant Neoplasms|
|Spinal Muscular Atrophy||Myeloproliferative Disorders|
|Erectile Dysfunction||Liver Disease|
|Cauda Equina Syndrome||Pancreatic Disease|
|Neurogenic Bladder||Irritable Bowel Disorder|
|Non-alcoholic Toxic Encephalopathy||Ulcerative Colitis/ Crohns Disease|
|Acquired Colour Vision Deficiency||Diverticulitis|
|Sleep Disorders with Neurogenic Basis||Mixed Connective Tissue Disease|
|Bi-polar Affective Disorder||Systemic Lupus Erythematosus|
Registration of Interest
As per above, please email ADF.FIREFIGHTER.SCHEME@DVA.GOV.AU with your service and any existing claims details (if you have them) to register your interest in the Scheme.
Download and print this document
Historians Seek Unpublished Stories of Australian Aircrew in the Burma Theatre
NEWS HEADLINES In a commendable effort to commemorate the unsung heroes of World War II, esteemed historians Dr Andrew Kilsby and Dr Daryl Moran are embarking on an ambitious project to chronicle the untold history of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircrew in Royal...
Commemorative medallion and certificate of recognition
NEWS HEADLINES The Australian Government has produced a 50th anniversary commemorative medallion and certificate of recognition, honouring the service of Australians who served in the Vietnam War. On 29 March 2023, Prime Minister Hon Anthony Albanese MP and Minister...
Hornet has new home in WA
NEWS HEADLINES Once a proud member of the Royal Australian Air Force's fleet, F/A-18 Hornet A21-101 has now found a new home at the Air Force Association's Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia. After years of dedicated service, A21-101 was retired from active...
War Horse Tornado Gifted to Australians
NEWS HEADLINES Australians have been gifted a priceless piece of history, with the Royal Air Force (RAF) donating a Tornado GR4 to the Air Force Association (WA Division) Aviation Heritage Museum. The aircraft, with registration ZG791, has made its way all the way...
Groundbreaking Work on Women, Peace, and Mental Health Earns Prestigious Conspicuous Service Cross
Groundbreaking Work on Women, Peace, and Mental Health Earns Prestigious Conspicuous Service Cross Squadron Leader Del Gaudry has been awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in recognition of her outstanding achievements in the implementation of the National Action Plan...
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Abolished
NEWS HEADLINESThe Government will abolish the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and replace it with a new federal administrative review body. Key features of this new body will include: implementing a transparent and merit-based appointments process providing...
RAF Donates Tornado
NEWS HEADLINES The Royal Air Force has donated one of its retired Tornado aircrafts to Aviation Heritage Museum. Thank you to the Royal Air force for choosing to donate one of its retired Tornado GR4 aircraft to the Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia. The...
Govt Response to Royal Commission
NEWS HEADLINES The Government has tabled in Parliament its formal response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide’s Interim Report. The Interim Report made 13 key recommendations which fall within three key themes: improving...
Ad Astra Podcasts – Listen Now
NEWS HEADLINESAn initiative by AFA and AFA NSW to capture the recollections and experiences of both retired and serving Air Force personnel. Listen as a wide range of former and current Australian aviators share their stories of life in the Air Force with...
DHAAT – Call for Members (P/Time)
NEWS HEADLINES Please click on the link below for more information: MORE NEWS