Former air force engineer AJ Walsh is celebrating after the Department of Veterans Affairs contacted him on Friday settling his claim for compensation over his exposure to toxic chemicals in the fuel tanks of F-111 aircraft.
Former air force engineer AJ Walsh is celebrating after the Department of Veterans Affairs contacted him on Friday settling his claim for compensation over his exposure to toxic chemicals in the fuel tanks of F-111 aircraft.

Toxic compo claim resolved

FORMER air force engineer AJ Walsh, 60, of Wollongbar, who believes his years spent in toxic F-111 fuel tanks made him sick, is over the moon following the approval of his claims last Friday.

The retired RAAF Warrant Officer's frustrations after a 20-year fight for adequate compensation were featured on the front page of The Northern Star last Thursday.

“The Department of Veteran Affairs called me on Friday after seeing the article and were really helpful,” he said. “They told me that I was entitled to compensation and it would not offset my pension, as I had been led to believe.

“They told me I was also eligible for a disability payment for 45 weeks at a current Warrant Officer's wage, and then at 75 per cent until I'm 65.”

Mr Walsh, who is severely disabled after losing most of his left hip to bone cancer, could receive up to $270,000 in a lump sum.

“I just want to thank (Page MP) Janelle Saffin who has been knocking on a lot of doors for me over the years, and always returned my calls – even on Saturdays,” he said.

“I also want to thank the department, which has been pretty supportive. Many knock them, myself included, but they do have to work within (certain constraints) and are sometimes between a rock and a hard place.”



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