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Statements By Members - Use of the Anti Malarial Drugs Mefloquine & Tafenoquine 29, MAY 2018

June 01, 2018

Thank-you Deputy Speaker.

I rise today to support the men and women who have fought selflessly to protect our country.

Some of these veterans paid the ultimate sacrifice and for some their battles continue long after returning home.

I have met with veterans and their families in my community who were given the anti-malarial drugs mefloquine and tef-en-o-quine and I stand in this place on their behalf.

The lack of consultation undertaken by the Turnbull Government both frustrates and angers them, and rightly so, because they don’t believe that their voice is being heard.

I have written to and met with previous Veterans Ministers of this government demanding proper consultation with veterans.

These are our veteran’s lives and this issue will not go away.

However, the Turnbull Government has just not delivered for veterans.

The previous Minister for Veterans’ Affairs committed to a number of priorities, one which would “establish a dedicated DVA mefloquine support team to assist our serving and ex-serving ADF community with mefloquine-related claims.”

When asked about this, DVA confirmed that there was no dedicated team and rather this was ‘spread’ across a handful of DVA staff who deal with a range of issues at any one time.

The new Minister needs to be upfront regarding what support his government is offering veterans on this issue.

I invite the Prime Minister & Minister for Veterans Affairs to come to Townsville to talk with & listen to the members of the Quine group.

Labor is very aware that much more needs to be done and we will work with veterans to further investigate this very serious issue.