Government passes Gold Cards for BCOF and BNT veterans’ legislation

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan today called on surviving participants of the British Nuclear Test (BNT) program in Australia and veterans who served as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) to register for free health care.

Mr Tehan said the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Budget passed the Senate today.

Mr Tehan said the passage of the Bill meant the Government’s $133.1 million program to provide a Gold Card to the surviving participants of the BNT program in Australia and veterans who served as part of the BCOF would come into effect from 1 July.

“The Gold Card can be used by eligible former members of the Australian Defence Force to pay for their health care,” Mr Tehan said.

“This Budget measure will also provide this health care coverage for affected pastoralists, Indigenous people and other civilians determined to be within the same vicinity as the participants of the BNT.

“I strongly encourage anyone who believes they are eligible under this program to contact DVA and begin the process so everything is in place for the 1 July start.

“Starting the process now will help people get their required paperwork in order in time for 1 July when DVA will be able to begin processing applications.”