ADF Health issues is a growing area of interest and concern to the DFWA.  Current matters include:

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT VOLUNTARY BLOOD TESTING PROGRAM FOR PFAS.  From 30 November 2016, the Australian Government will provide a free blood test for PFAS for people who live or work, or who have lived or worked, in the Williamtown, NSW and Oakey, QLD, Investigation Areas and who have potentially been exposed to PFAS.

For more information about the voluntary blood testing program please refer to the attached Department of Health – Factsheet: Voluntary Blood Testing Program. Where individual consent is given, the PFAS blood test results may be used as part of an epidemiological study to improve the understanding of the potential health effects relating to PFAS exposure.

For more information about the epidemiological study please refer to the attached Department of Health – Factsheet: Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): an epidemiological study.

Further information about PFAS, including Health initiatives to address PFAS contamination and information for GPs, is available on the Health website.

The Australian Government is aware that some non-government organisations are promoting blood testing for PFAS to the communities surrounding PFAS contaminated sites, such as Williamtown, NSW and Oakey, QLD. Any blood testing that is conducted outside of the parameters of the Voluntary Blood Testing Program arrangements will not be funded by the Australian Government.

Department of Defence interim blood testing arrangements

While the Voluntary Blood Testing Program was being developed, the Department of Defence established interim arrangements to reimburse individuals in the Williamtown, NSW and Oakey QLD investigations areas who have already obtained blood tests. These interim arrangements will cease now that the Voluntary Blood Testing Program has commenced.

If you are seeking either reimbursement or payment of blood testing conducted on, or before 30 November 2016, please follow Defence’s guidance regarding its interim arrangements in the attached Department of Defence - PFAS Blood Testing Fact Sheet - October 2016. If required, the Reimbursement of PFAS Blood Test form is attached for your convenience

Additional assistance. For enquiries about the Voluntary Blood Testing Program please contact Health at  For enquiries about the AACO Environmental Investigation, please contact the project information hotline on 1800 136 129 or email

Defence Oakey Project Team:  P: 1800 136 129 E: W:



SENATE INQUIRY - ADF SUICIDE:   Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee inquiry into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel.  Submissions were due by 7 October and the Senate Committee will report back by 30 March 2017.  DFWA in conjunction with the RAAC Corp and RAAF Association guided the  development of ADSO’s submission and a supplementary submission. We will update this site as the matter progresses.  All submissions made to the Inquiry are available on the above link.

- Our Qld Branch also made a submission as well as a supplementary submission.

- Peter Thornton's submission titled "The Plight of ADF Personnel & Veterans - A History of ‘Yes Minister’ Reviews and Policies driven by “Dollars but no Sense" - is well worth a read.

- on 18 Nov 2016 the DFWA National President appeared before the Senate Committee.  Read more here and read his opening statement.  The full transcript of the Hearing is on the APH website.

PTSD:  DFWA has made a number of our submissions on this matter

HEARING AIDS:  DFWA made a statement about this matter here.

RAAF F111 Deseal -Re-seal program:  DFWA has had a long standing involvement with the health problems experienced by RAAF F111 aircraft maintainers and was one of the advocates for the health study of those members. We continue to maintain a watching brief on further aspects of this health problem particularly to research findings that may have applicability to other ADF members. DFWA is a member of the Consultative Forum for the research presently being conducted for Defence by the Mater Medical Institute.  Read our 2008 submission on this matter.

ADF Firefighters and Health:  A study commissioned by the Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council was a cohort study of cancer mortality and other possible health outcomes in Australian and New Zealand fire-fighters and Defence has supported this study so that former and currently serving ADF fire fighting categories can be included. DFWA is maintaining a watching brief on this study.

Agent Orange and prostate cancer:  Nearly 10% of the former South Vietnam was sprayed with the 'Agent Orange' between 1962 and 1971. A recent US study involving 13,000 US Vietnam veterans has showed that veterans exposed to Agent Orange have greatly increased risks of prostate cancer and even greater risks of getting the most aggressive form of the disease as compared to those who were not exposed. The findings, published in the September 15 issue of the international journal CANCER, are the first to link the herbicide with this disease.  Vietnam veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange are encouraged to discuss these findings with their general practitioner and consider the need for prostate screening tests. DFWA has written to DVA requesting a response to this new evidence.

Links to some Health related matters prior to 2009 are below:


236 Update - February 2009
ADF Healthcare Trial - the Hidden Tax Slug! - MSBS MBLs - Fair Indexation for ADF Military Retirement Payments - Gulf War Syndrome - British Nuclear Tests in Australia
235 Update - December 2008
Taxation Treatment of Military Schemes - Solomon Islands Health Study - Proposed Budget Initiatives - Only 44 Years For Reason To Prevail - HMAS Voyager Claims
233 Update - September 2008
Retirement Pension Indexation - Understanding of military retirement pensions by Treasury - Reversionary Spouse Benefits - Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Mr Griffen - Review of Military Superannuation - Strategic Review of the Defence Community Organisation (DCO) - Defence Reserves Association - Vietnam Verterans' Family Study - Undeducted Purchase Price (UPP) Balances - Administration of ex gratia payment to F-111 deseal-reseal workers - Inquiry into ADF mental health services
232 Update - August 2008
Agent Orange and prostate cancer - Australia's future tax system inquiry - Farewell to their Excellencies! - Salary sacrificing and pension indexation - Suicide in the ex-service community - DFRDB superannuants disadvantaged - again! - F111 Deseal - Reseal Program
18 OCTOBER 2006
Nuclear Test Bills Lonergan: Submission to Inquiry into the Provisions of the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Bill; and …….the (consequential Amendments and Transitional P
26 OCTOBER 2006
Inquiry Into the Provisions of the Australian Participants in British Nuclear Tests (Treatment) Bills 2006
15 MARCH 2007
RDFWA Submission Inquiry Into Australia’s Involvement in Peacekeeping Operations
13 AUGUST 2007
Submission to 2007 Federal Election Contestants from Organisations Representing ADF Members and Ex- Service Groups (ESOs)
26 JUNE 2008
DFWA Submission - F-111 Deseal-Reseal Inquiry