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AN01 Application of the Potable Water Factor




Advisory Note from Policy Support Branch

No. 1/2016

Application of the 'Potable Water' factor

This is an advisory note only.  It is not a Repatriation Commission Guideline or a Departmental Instruction.  The advice is not intended to conflict with the proper application of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 or the judgements of the Courts.  It may be subject to change as a result of further interpretation by the Courts of the legislation.  Nevertheless it represents a considered view that should be taken into account by all delegates.


The Statements of Principles (SoPs) for: myeloma; Hodgkin’s lymphoma (also referred to as Hodgkin’s disease); malignant neoplasm of the prostate; malignant neoplasm of the larynx; soft tissue sarcoma; malignant neoplasm of the lung; and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, include the following ‘potable water’ factor which requires that the veteran have served:

(i)         on land in Vietnam, or

(ii)        at sea in Vietnamese waters, or

(iii)       on board a vessel and consuming potable water supplied on that vessel, when the water supply had been produced by evaporative distillation of estuarine Vietnamese waters,

for a cumulative period of at least thirty days, at least five years before the clinical onset of  (the condition),

The ‘potable water factor described above is intended to apply to:

  • service rendered on land or sea in Vietnam; and/or

  • service on board a ship that supplied potable water produced by distillation of estuarine Vietnamese waters, during the period outlined at items four and eight of Schedule Two of the VEA, being the period from and including 31 July 1962 to and including 11 January 1973; and

  • should be applied in such a way that time spent on board a vessel listed in the Table of Ships in Vietnamese Estuarine Waters provided as an Appendix to this Advisory Note, at any time during the period described in that Table as being within two years of the ships’ last date in Vietnamese waters, should be counted towards the 30 day cumulative period for the consumption of potable water required by the factor.

Table of Royal Australian Navy vessels in Vietnamese estuarine waters during the Vietnam War.docx



Mark Harrigan

Assistant Secretary

Policy Support Branch

 March 2012