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Tier Definitions and 'Additional Information'


6. All F-111 maintenance workers need to be tier classified before compensation claims are investigated, as this will confirm whether or not ss7(2) SRCA can be applied to their claim.  Access to ss7(2) provides for the application of the specified 31 conditions claimable under ss7(2).   In addition, Tier 1 and Tier 2 classified personnel are still eligible for the 2005 ex-gratia scheme lump sum payment of $40,000 and $10,000 respectively.  The delegation for a tier classification decision is Executive Level 1 and above.  This delegation has been authorised under a Ministerial Instrument (see Attachment D.3).


7. The updated May 2010 tier definitions included 'additional information' to support most tier categories.  This 'additional information' was based on the “Details of Exposure” supplementary information provided with the tier definitions in 2005.


8. Within the first six months of the application of the May 2010 tier definitions, it was apparent that changes to the 'additional information' accompanying the tier definitions were needed to help potentially eligible claimants self-identify, and to assist DVA delegates to determine eligibility under the respective tier classifications.


9. In December 2010, the MRCC agreed to make changes to the 'additional information' accompanying the F-111 tier definitions, and to clarify certain terms, such as “fuel tank entry” and “usual place of duty”, that apply to participants eligible for tier classification.  The MRCC also agreed on the tier status for surface finisher trainees, K Group suppliers and fire fighter trainees who were at the Fire Security and Fire Training School at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley.


10. The MRCC agreed:

  • to the proposed changes to the 'additional information' used in support of the Tier classification definitions;
  • that the phrase “fuel tank entry” means whole body entry;
  • that fire fighter trainees at RAAF Security and Fire Training School between 1987 and 1994 be classified as Tier 3, provided they were involved in the burning of deseal/reseal products, with the determination based on appropriate primary and/or secondary evidence, including statutory declarations (as required by the guidelines on the use of statutory declarations);
  • to the definition of “usual place of duty”, interpreted by DVA to mean:
  • The place of work to which a military member is posted, attached or directed to be by their supervisor; for APS or contractor staff, where they are directed to be by their supervisor or manager; with the phrase “directed to be” meaning a place where the person was required to be on a regular basis for a set time or day, and not including sites visited briefly or casually;
  • that K Group suppliers who were fire attendants not be tier classified as fire-fighters;
  • that surface finisher trainees be considered Tier 3 classified if they have statutory declarations and supporting statements confirming that they carried out whole body fuel tank entry to conduct deseal/reseal fuel tank maintenance; and
  • that in Tier 2 (Category 8), the word “continuous” can be ignored and the term “cumulative” is the operative requirement.


11. The changes to the 'additional information' accompanying the F-111 Tier definitions do not exclude otherwise eligible claimants, as eligibility is determined by the actual Tier definition, not by the 'additional information' itself.


12. The changes remove details determined to be misleading or extraneous in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 definitions, and insert words such as “formal” to make it clear that certain tier categories required work to be performed in a formal deseal/reseal program.


13. The changes came into effect on 10 December 2010.  They are highlighted in the Tier Definitions document at Attachment A and have been promulgated on the DVA F-111 website.  The Tier Definitions and the accompanying Additional Information must be followed by delegates determining tier classification, on both reviews of, and new applications for, classification.