NEWS HEADLINES

ADF Firefighter Scheme - Support Package Announced

 

 

On 11th May, 2021 the Morrison Government announced in its 2021-22 Federal Budget 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.

 

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 
Dysplastic Naevus Anxiety
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
Depression Bowel Polyps
Sleep Disorders with Neurogenic Basis Mixed Connective Tissue Disease
Bi-polar Affective Disorder Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Vertigo Sarcoidosis
Memory Loss  

 

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 

MORE NEWS 

A Gathering of Eagles

NEWS HEADLINES  ‘A Gathering of Eagles’   The 81st Anniversary of the Battle of BritainandCentenary Year of the Royal Australian Air Force   A National Commemoration of Air Power and Air Forces   Hobart, Tasmania 10 - 12 September 2021   A ‘Gathering of Eagles’...

Royal Commission – AFA Response

NEWS HEADLINES  The Air Force Association has submitted its input to the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.   You can read the full submission (please click the image below): You can also view this and other veterans'...

2021 AFA Service Awards

NEWS HEADLINES    The Brian & Nora O'Connor Award, and the Geoff Michael Award recognise outstanding or exceptional service to the Air Force Association.   The Brian & Nora O'Connor Award is awarded to an organisation that has rendered "outstanding"...

Our Air Force, Our Culture

NEWS HEADLINESA Message From The Air Force Association     ‘OUR AIR FORCE, OUR CULTURE’ –THE RE-VECTORING OF AIR FORCE CULTURE   As part of the Air Force Centenary celebrations, Chief of Air Force announced his intention to ‘re- vector’ Air Force culture to...

Royal Commission Terms of Reference

NEWS HEADLINES  The Royal Commission into Defence & Veteran Suicide will consult with veteran support organisations on the draft Terms of Reference.  The Morrison Government recently announced it would request the Governor-General to establish a Royal Commission...

Commemorating ANZAC Day 2021

NEWS HEADLINES  At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, We will remember them. Lest We Forget.    Click on image below to view Last Post video.  (Video courtesy Peter Colliver, OAM - Air Force Association)  MORE NEWS 

Honours & Awards Inquiry

NEWS HEADLINES  The Air Force Association welcomes the opportunity to provide input to the Honours and Awards Inquiry on the notion of recognising members and families of Australian Defence force members who are injured, wounded or killed in, or because of, service....

South Australian Eagles

NEWS HEADLINES   A book honouring the proud history and service of South Australians in the Air Force was launched by His Excellency The Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, at the Air Force Centenary Morning Tea and Book Launch at Government House,...

Air Force Centenary

NEWS HEADLINES   The Royal Australian Air Force will mark its 100th anniversary with a mass flypast over Canberra – a rare and exciting opportunity to see a wide range of current and historic military aircraft.   On Wednesday 31 March 2021 Air Force is marking is...

WINGS Autumn Edition Out Now.

NEWS HEADLINES  In this edition we celebrate an Air Force milestone and look back on the RAAF's early years.   MORE NEWS