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3. The 2009 Joint Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) Inquiry Report “Sealing a just outcome: Report from the Inquiry into RAAF F-111 Deseal/Reseal workers and their families”, made 18 recommendations for changes to existing coverage and entitlements. In its May 2010 response to the Inquiry Report, the Government accepted 14 of the Inquiry's recommendations and provided $55m over four years in the 2010-11 Budget to implement its response. The Government did not accept Recommendation 3 which proposed a broadening of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 definitions for the ex-gratia lump sum payment scheme, but kept the scheme open to the eligible work group. The Government did accept Recommendation 1 which expanded Tier 3 eligibility to include all personnel who undertook “fuel tank maintenance involving fuel tank entry prior to January 2000”, essentially “pick and patch” workers.
4. This Government decision gave these additional personnel access to a range of benefits that had previously only been available to those involved in the formal deseal/reseal programs or covered by the Tier definitions of the initial scheme of 2005-06.
5. In May 2010 the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC) agreed to:
- the application of ss7(2) of SRCA to claims made by this new eligible group of personnel, for any of the 31 specified conditions associated with the deseal/reseal work;
- new tier definitions developed jointly by DVA and Defence to incorporate the new eligible group as Tier 3 entitled persons; and
- guidelines for the use of statutory declarations in the tier determination process.