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'We will finally get a chance to be heard': Thalidomide Group Australia

Tuesday, 21 August

Thalidomide Group Australia – a group representing forgotten survivors of the pharmaceutical disaster - said today they were thankful that after more than four years of campaigning, politicians had finally woken up to their plight.

Thalidomide Group Australia Spokesperson Lisa McManus said:

“We’ve been fighting just for somebody to listen here in Canberra for more than four years, and it is thanks to Senator Steele-John and the Australian Greens that we will finally have an opportunity to present our case.

“In that time, those of us that are left have started to worry about our health and our independence, and I would urge those in Canberra to acknowledge that what we are asking for is little in comparison to what has been done to us.

“Simply, we would like a guarantee that our needs will be taken care of for the remainder of our lives, given the meagre compensation we currently receive will soon dry up.

“Also, we would like an apology. We would like the Australian government to take responsibility for what happened to us, and acknowledge the impact it has had on our families.”

Australian Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John said:

“It should not have taken this long for the survivors of the most horrific pharmaceutical disaster in history to have this place acknowledge what they have been through, and apologise for the role the government at the time played in prolonging the impact.

“It’s high time they were given a compensation framework that meets their care and support needs for the rest of their lives; the Australian Greens Party Room have already endorsed the compensation and support package put forward by Thalidomide Group Australia in its entirety.

“Whilst the Greens support the motion put forward today calling for a Senate Inquiry it is our position that the impacts of thalidomide are well known and the enquiry is not needed to establish that people’s lives have been significantly impacted.”

The Australian Labor Party today moved a motion, which was supported by the Senate, calling for an inquiry into the Thalidomide disaster.

Media contact:
Tim Oliver – 0448 316 387

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