Is Andrew Hastie MP – MIA?

I live in Canning and voted Liberal and for the first time in my life I need the help of my elected representative in the Federal Parliament. It is not a very big deal, I just want the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to honour an agreement that I believe they made with me in 1955 when I was 17 years old. An agreement which they are now paying out tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayers funds to avoid honouring.

Enter the member for Canning, Andrew Hastie. I put my case to his Mandurah office and received an invitation to meet and greet the then Minister for Veterans Affairs at a local Tavern. The Minister and Mr Hastie listened sympathetically to my case and assured me that they would investigate and “get back to me”.

I believed them … silly, naive me. I have nothing from the Minister the previous one or the new one and assurances by Mr Hastie’s office that he would contact me have been empty words. Not a call, not an email, nothing. I have been left to fight my own battle unaided and unsupported.

So why is our government spending thousands of your dollars on lawyers, medical specialists and public servants to defeat an eighty year old, ex-serviceman, aged pensioner? I really cannot answer that but this is how it seems from my point of view.

I joined the RAAF at about the same time that Australian servicemen were being exposed to nuclear radiation from weapons testing. I was not involved in the weapons tests but I was repeatedly exposed to “nuclear” radiation in a closed room at the offices of Squadron Leader John Conquest in Melbourne. An activity later described as “medical malpractice” by oncologists.

The consequences of this has been a range of cancers including prostate, skin and laryngeal cancer, damage to my eyes and the loss of all my upper and most of my lower teeth. With the exception of prostate cancer, DVA has accepted responsibility, paid compensation and provided me with a restricted indemnity against ongoing medical costs in the form of a DVA “White Card”. Most of those who were exposed now have a DVA Gold Card. I do not.

Then came colon cancer. Having accepted the fact that I had been subjected to radiation DVA paid for the services of an oncology professor to state that, because many people get colon cancer my colon cancer could not be blamed on the radiation. The oncologist has apparently decided to ignore metastasis and the interstitium to provide DVA with what they want to read.

I expect that the fact that my wife died of colon cancer in her late sixties and that she served at the same RAAF base as I did for some years and subsequently was also was prescribed radiation therapy for a skin condition, will be cast aside as a coincidence. I have lodged a request with DVA under FOI to find out how many more were affected.

So I have been left to fight on my own, on behalf of myself and all those others that have come along this road. DVA has now employed high level lawyers, researchers and medical specialists to arraign against me at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. They have even discovered that my mother’s father who died in the UK before I was born and who was a heavy smoker died of colon cancer, so it is in my DNA. How much did that cost? I have even received “menacing” letters from  Medicare threatening dire financial consequences if I should win my case.

I have even offered the Minister of Veterans Affairs a compromise solution. Mr Hastie has a copy of my offer. This has also been ignored.

I don’t know about others but this is not why I voted for Andrew Hastie or his party. I voted for Andrew to represent the people of Canning of which I am one, not to join a political mob that spends our money on emotionally and financially battering senior citizens and cheat us out of our rights.

John F Macmahon

3 comments

I am seriously concerned with the disproportionate number of ex-servicemen and women who will be without a meal and a decent bed in Canning this coming Anzac Day. Is it just possible that we will not forget but that Mr. Hastie has already done so? These people are his moral and political responsibility.

While I am sympathetic to his high profile efforts on behalf of South African farmers I seriously question his priorities.

OK Bill (Shorten) can/will you do better? Not a word about ex defense force service people and you were not spotted in Canning by my informants. Where do you stand on the physical and psychological rehabilitation of the now jobless and homeless people who agreed to give their all for the safety and security of Australia. We have a problem and a missing in action representative in Canberra. Can you and your team do better?

John Macmahon

Have no doubt, Mr Hastie is neither a Western Australian or a supporter. He has shown very little interests in his electorate since being elected as the Member for Canning. He spends a disproportionate amount of time on concerning himself with matters of gaining media attention as against working/lobbying for the electors of Canning.

He has now decided to support a Dutton Prime Minister attempt while knowing full well that if Dutton had been successful Western Australians could have lost the “GST Compensation” of over four billion dollars. Whether or not you brand Hastie a “mutineer” is not really relevant but he voted in Canberra to push all of Western Australia into more financial dire straits.

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