The Australian Greens are calling on the Health Minister to agree to re-open applications for the Thalidomide Survivors Support Program.
Ahead of the long-awaited national apology, set for 29th November 2023, Australian Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John is calling on the Federal Government to immediately re-open the eligibility assessment program, to ensure that any previously unrecognised thalidomide survivors are able to apply for the program and get the support they deserve.
Additionally, Senator Jordon Steele-John is backing the calls of thalidomide survivors to have the ongoing support payments indexed, to keep up with the rising cost of living.
Lines Attributable to Senator Jordon Steele-John, Australian Greens spokesperson for Health and Disability:
“At a time as momentous as a National Apology to Thalidomide Survivors, it is very likely that some members of the Australian Community may recognise, for the first time, that they too had been impacted by Thalidomide. It is vital that there still be a pathway for survivors to get justice, recognition and ongoing support. The Greens are calling on the Federal Government to re-open the eligibility assessment program.
“The intention of the Australian Thalidomide Survivors Program was to provide a lifetime support package for survivors. It’s clear that without indexing those payments, the ability for survivors to get access to the services they need is getting harder and harder.
"The Australian Government have made a commitment to right the wrongs and are now ready to apologise. But an apology is only as good as the actions that follow. It’s beyond time for support payments to be indexed to keep up with the rising cost of living.”