Benefits for Australian Participants in the British Nuclear Tests

On this page:

Access to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act for Australian Defence Force Participants in British Nuclear Tests in Australia

Non-Liability Health Care Treatment

Commemorative Medallion

More information:


Access to the Veterans’ Entitlements Act for Australian Defence Force Participants in British Nuclear Tests in Australia

Clarke Recommendations

The Government has revisited recommendations of the Clarke Review of Veterans' Entitlements that were not acted upon by the previous Government. The Clarke Review recommended that the service of Australian participants in the British Nuclear Tests in Australia be declared 'non-warlike hazardous' service under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA). The Government has now accepted this recommendation.
The amendment to the VEA enabling this initiative was given Royal Assent on 29 June 2010. The date of effect is 1 July 2010. More information can be found here.

In the May 2010 Budget, the Government announced that it has accepted the Clarke recommendation to extend VEA coverage to ADF participants in the BNT program. This initiative will provide compensation and health care benefits for ex-defence force claimants whose medical conditions are accepted as related to their BNT service.  Widows and widowers of deceased BNT participants will also be eligible for benefits if their partner’s death is related to BNT service or the BNT participant was eligible for disability pension at a rate above 100% General Rate. The more generous ‘reasonable hypothesis’ standard of proof will apply to all claims.

Non-defence personnel, such as Commonwealth Government employees and civilian contractors are not included in this initiative and existing compensation arrangements remain applicable.

Commonwealth Government employees continue to have access to compensation and health care benefits for conditions relating to their test participation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRCA). For information on how to claim, please contact Comcare on 1300 366 979.

Civilian participants have access to compensation under the SRCA like administrative scheme which is administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR). For information on how to claim, please contact the DEEWR switchboard on 13 33 97 and ask to be transferred through to the Safety and Compensation Policy Branch.

Claims under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act

The act enabling this measure was given Royal Assent on 29 June 2010. Persons who believe they may be eligible may lodge claims now.

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Who is Eligible?

Former Australian Defence Force personnel who satisfy the definition of having rendered British Nuclear Test defence service will be eligible to claim for conditions arising from that service. Widow/ers of BNT participants may also be eligible to claim, if the death was related to BNT service, or the BNT participant was eligible for disability pension above 100% of the General Rate.

If you are unsure whether you are eligible to claim, contact the BNT hotline on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional).

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How do you apply?

You can contact the BNT hotline on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional) (from anywhere in Australia) to discuss whether you are eligible.

To lodge a claim, complete either the D2582 Claim for Disability Pension, or D2663 Claim for Pension by a Widow, Widower or other Dependant of a Deceased Veteran which can be found on this website and submit it by post to Department of Veterans’ Affairs, GPO Box 9998 in your capital city or lodge it in person at your nearest DVA Office.

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Where can you find out more?

For more information on non-liability health care treatment, please call the BNT Hotline of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (from anywhere in Australia) on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional).

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Non-Liability Health Care Treatment

The Government response to the study of Mortality and Cancer Incidence in Australian participants in British nuclear tests in Australia was released in June 2006.

Non-liability health care treatment for all cancers, irrespective of causation, for all Australian Military personnel, Australian Public Service employees and third party civilian contractors who participated in the BNT Programs in Australia followed.

Legislation governing this treatment received assent on 30 November 2006. An amendment to extend eligibility to police who patrolled the Maralinga area after the tests (up until 30 June 1988) received assent on 12 June 2008.

Who is Eligible?

British nuclear tests in Australia were conducted at Emu Field and Maralinga in South Australia, and at the Monte Bello Islands off the West Australian coast from 1952 to 1957. Eligibility for non-liability health care treatment has been extended to those persons who were working, or were a visitor, in at least one of these testing areas while tests were conducted or were present in a test area within a 2 year period after the relevant explosion.  Those who participated in the minor nuclear test trials conducted between 1953 and 1963 are also eligible.

Eligibility has also been extended to Commonwealth Police, Australian Federal Police and Australian Protective Service Officers who patrolled the Maralinga nuclear test area up to 30 June 1988.

View the Definition of an Australian Participant in the British Nuclear Test Program for the Purposes of Non-liability Health Care Treatment for All Malignant Cancers.

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How do you apply?

If you were present at any of the British Nuclear Test sites in Australia please contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (from anywhere in Australia) on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional) to request a registration form and get details of how to apply.

Alternatively, if you believe that you meet the eligibility criteria of an Australian participant in the British Nuclear Test program in Australia and you are able to provide supporting documentation, please fill out the claim form.

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Where do you lodge the registration form?

Your registration form must be lodged at the Canberra Office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Australia at the address shown on page one of the form.

Where can you find out more?

For more information on non-liability health care treatment, please call the Canberra Office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (from anywhere in Australia) on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional)

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Commemorative Medallion

The Government has released a Medallion commemorating Australian participation in the British Nuclear Tests in Australia. The Medallion was minted in time for the 50th anniversary of the end of the major tests in October 2007 and recognises the service of those Australians who participated in or provided support to the Program.

Who is Eligible?

Any Australian, whether Military personnel, police or civilians who participated in or provided support to the British Nuclear Test Program in Australia can make a claim for the Medallion.

How do you apply?

If you participated in or provided support to the British Nuclear Test Program in Australia, you can lodge a claim for the Medallion by filling out the claim form.

If you wish to obtain a hard copy of the form or would like any further information about the Medallion, please contact the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Canberra from anywhere in Australia on free call number 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional).

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Where do you lodge the registration form?

Your registration form must be lodged at the Canberra Office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Australia at the address shown on page one of the form.

Where can you find out more?

For more information on the commemorative Medallion, please call the Canberra Office of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (from anywhere in Australia) on 133 254 (metro) or 1800 555 254 (regional).

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