Today, Labor has announced that we will move to establish a Senate Inquiry into the use of the Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force.
It is almost two years since the Turnbull Government first acknowledged concerns around the use of the anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine.
However, members of the serving and ex-service community have continued to raise their concerns around the side effects from some anti-malarial drugs which were taken during their service.
It is time for a proper and public examination of the issue and to establish the facts.
In that spirit, Labor has discussed the draft Terms of Reference with the Government to ensure the Senate Inquiry has the opportunity to work through this issue in an open and transparent manner and provide a thorough and comprehensive report about the use of Quinoline anti-malarial drugs in the ADF.
The draft terms of reference for the inquiry are:
The use of the Quinoline anti-malarial drugs Mefloquine and Tafenoquine in the Australian Defence Force with particular reference to:
A. Current and past policies and practices for prescribing quinolone anti-malarial drugs to ADF personnel
B. Current and past policies and practices for identifying and reporting adverse drug reactions from quinoline anti-malarial drugs among ADF personnel
C. The nature and extent of any adverse health effects of those who have taken Mefloquine/Tafenoquine on serving and former ADF personnel
D. Support available for partners, carers and families of personnel who experience any adverse health effects of quinoline anti-malarial drugs
E. A comparison of international evidence/literature available on the impact of quinoline anti-malarials
F. How other governments have responded to claims regarding quinoline anti-malarials
G. Any other related matters.
Labor understands this is a complex issue and looks forward to the Inquiry providing further transparency on this issue.
It is anticipated the inquiry would hold public hearings to allow all voices to have an opportunity to be heard.
Labor will consult with senators over the coming weeks to establish the inquiry during the next sittings of the Senate in June.
Amanda Rishworth MP & Senator Alex Gallacher
Tuesday 5 June 2018