Today after more than 20 years of fighting, the former state government Agricultual Board workers who were exposed to Chemicals that was supposed to be 245T during the 1980's were told their Worker's Compensation claims would be fast-tracked.
Trouble is, of 90 odd affected workers, 36 are already prematurely dead. Also the WA authorities say it is only the cancer-struck workers who will get the fast-track deal. (Gee Whiz, after 20 years, what's the normal speed?)No guarantees for the others, some who have not been able to work for several years. Minister Chance coceded that perhaps one worker who received contact bindness after only 3 months work will probably get something. He's been blind for nearly twenty years.
The WA gov's "Expert Medical Panel", who didn't even interview or ask for the workers medical records, concluded there is no evidence of a link from 245T exposure to the other debilitating illness suffered by the workers.
We believe that the offending chemical used was no longer in fact production herbicide, but after being fire-damaged had extremely elevated levels of dioxin. If so, it was then "TOXIC WASTE", not herbicide. Sampling evidence and research shows this to be likely, but the WA gov's panel has simply dismissed all eye witness accounts of the product that the gov illegally supplied to their own workers in unmarked drums, telling them, "it was safe enough to drink", when workers feared for their personal safety.
Most of the workers boycotted the meeting, once again feeling well in advance that they were going to be left for dead.
WESTRALIA.net put these questions to Mr.Chance:
How are workers Comp claims going to work when Armstrong says there is no firm evidence of link?
The real issue was not explored: This was not Herbicide, but allegedly "toxic waste" being so far off specification with dioxin content.
The real question of where the rogue batches (as evidenced in the Federal tariff investigation) finished up was simply dismissed.
We know it came in to Australia in large enough quantities. This has been researched by competent people. Where did it go?
We still need to know even if it did not go to Derby. The stuff is a known disaster and it has supposedly disappeared into thin air.
Why were the chemicals supplied illegally to the workers in unmarked drums?
Why were workers' accounts of witnessing completely different physical characteristics of these drums contents not researched?
The same claims by workers in Qld and Vic over a similar period?
What was wrong with Harper's Report?
Why did it need a review?
Why was a specialist used who had already published work in medical journals dismissing Viet vets Agent Orange claims, and went on to supposing blame on the vets and their spouses living habits as a more probable cause of birth defects?
Why is there such a concentration on cancer links, when the symptoms many workers suffer are not indicative of cancer?
How did Armstrong and co. manage a report on these workers when he did not interview them and did not access their medical records?
What was the public cost of the Armstrong Inquiry?
What was the public cost of flying the circus to nearly 2000 Km to Derby, when only about 8 of about 50 workers attended?
More waiting, less answers no doubt.