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Dunne: A mean-spirited Government response

Media Statement
For immediate release
Thursday, October 16, 2003

Dunne: A mean-spirited Government response

The Government's refusal to compensate two brothers severely injured while serving in the Army was "callous and legalistic", Peter Dunne, chairman of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, said today.

The committee earlier this year recommended - with the support of all parties - that Damien and George Nepata receive increased compensation for the horrific injuries they received in separate incidents. George was left paralysed and Damien was badly burnt. They have been pursuing increased compensation for seven years.

"The Government acknowledged in considerable detail the strength of the case for compensation put forward by the select committee, and yet has turned around and denied its recommendations.

"This is a bitter blow to the Nepata brothers, whom the committee accepted have received minimal compensation in real terms for their injuries, and I can only extend my sympathy to them over this decision," Mr Dunne said.

"It appears that the service that the Nepata brothers gave to their country, and the horrific price they paid, will not be met by anything like a humane and adequate response from a mean-spirited Government. This is indeed a sad day."

Ends.

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