Federal Court of Australia


SYDNEY, 23, 25-27, 30 November 1992; 1-4, 7-11, 14-17 December 1992; 25, 26,
30, 31 March 1993; 1, 14-16, 19, 20, 23 April 1993; 13-15 October 1993
#DATE 18:5:1994

  Counsel for the Applicant:      Ms C. Simpson QC with Mr R. Wilkins

  Instructed By:                  Maurice May and Co

  Counsel for the Respondent:     Mr J. Mccarthy QC with Mr P. Jones

  Instructed By:                  Australian Government Solicitor
  1.   the application be dismissed.

  2.   costs be reserved.
Note: Settlement and entry of orders is dealt with in Order 36 of the Federal
Court Rules.
FOSTER J  These proceedings were commenced in the High Court of Australia and
were transferred to this Court for hearing.  The statement of claim is
expressed in very wide terms.  The case presented was considerably narrower.
The statement of claim alleges that the applicant, Wesley Thomas Dingwall
("Dingwall"), whilst serving in the Australian Army during the "Antler" series
of atomic tests at Maralinga, South Australia, in 1957, was exposed to nuclear
radiation in circumstances which involved breaches of common law and statutory
duties owed to him by the respondent, the Commonwealth of Australia.  It was
alleged that Dingwall suffered injuries being: (a) anxiety and (b) basal cell

2.  In his Schedule of Damages filed in this Court the list of injuries was
expanded to allege:-
      "(a) Radiation burns
      (b)  Consequent radiation sickness
      (c)  Severe anxiety/depressive state
      (d)  Consequent aggravation of the applicant's asthma
      (e)  Anaemia
      (f)  Heart attack which is alleged to be aggravated by anxiety
      (g)  A stroke which is alleged to be aggravated in the same way
      (h)  Brain damage."

3.  Dingwall also relied upon the following list of continuing disabilities:-
      "(a) The applicant has suffered at various stages from episodes of
           irrational behaviour, extreme tearfulness and suicidal
      (b)  Loss of appetite
      (c)  Loss of libido
      (d)  Excessive drinking
      (e)  Recurrent tremors of the hands
      (f)  Extreme feelings of anxiety in apparently normal situations
      (g)  Sweating
      (h)  Dry throat
      (i)  Aggressiveness in general
      (j)  The applicant at various periods has fought with his wife
           generally over petty things
      (k)  Extreme morbidity and feeling that things were against him
      (l)  Recurrent insomnia
      (m)  Occasional nightmares
      (n)  Various episodes of irrationality bordering on violence
      (o)  Feelings of paranoia
      (p)  Recurrent episodes of breathlessness
      (q)  The applicant is likely to get asthma during or after
           undertaking any strenuous physical activity
      (r)  Difficulty in breathing."

4.  In addition, claims were made for economic loss, loss of earning capacity
and out-of-pocket expenses.

5.  When the matter came to hearing, it was indicated by counsel that Dingwall
no longer relied upon any allegation of injurious exposure to nuclear
radiation and consequent physical harm.  Physical damage was not alleged
except insofar as physical conditions suffered by Dingwall, in particular
asthma, had been aggravated from time to time by anxiety. It was also alleged,
by way of later amendment, that Dingwall had suffered some brain damage by
reason of excessive indulgence in alcohol which was, itself, causally related
to his anxiety.

6.  It was made clear that the case to be presented on behalf of Dingwall was
based upon the negligent infliction upon him of psychiatric injury in breach
of the duty of care owed to him by the respondent as a result of his
employment by the respondent at Maralinga.  Indeed, his claim was put, in
final written submissions on his behalf, in the following succinct and
colloquial terms:-
      "You sent me to Maralinga, you frightened the living
      daylights out of me, and caused a psychiatric disorder."

7.  There was no dispute that Dingwall, at the time of the institution of the
proceedings and thereafter, did in fact suffer from a psychiatric illness.
There was a significant contest as to the nature of that illness and as to its
aetiology.  There was also no dispute that the respondent had owed to Dingwall
the employer's duty to take all reasonable steps to save Dingwall from risks
of injury which reasonable foresight would discern and reasonable prudence
would obviate.  Only the breach was denied.

The Issues
8.  Despite deficiencies in the pleadings the case was quite clearly fought on
the following issues: whether Dingwall's psychiatric illness or disorder was
caused by his activities and experiences at Maralinga during his employment in
the Army in the "Antler" series of tests; if so, whether the risk of such
injury was reasonably foreseeable by the respondent at the time; if so, did
the respondent fail to take steps to prevent injury which were reasonable and
available at the time; and, finally, were Dingwall's psychiatric injuries, if
suffered at Maralinga, occasioned by the infliction upon him of "nervous

Factual Background and Evidence 9.  As the relevant injuries were alleged to
have been inflicted in late 1957 and to have resulted in disabilities of
fluctuating intensity up to the time of hearing and into the future, the
evidence, of necessity, covered a span of 35 years of Dingwall's life.
Dingwall was discharged from the Army, medically unfit, in 1968, having
enlisted in 1955.  Accordingly, not inconsiderable reference was made to his
Army records.

10.  Upon leaving the Army he became eligible for benefits under the Defence
Forces Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme ("DFRDB") on medical grounds.  He
was the subject of medical examinations at the time and with some regularity
thereafter.  The reports in relation to these examinations were put into
evidence at the hearing.  Similarly, medical reports in relation to a
subsequent application for an invalid pension have been placed before me as
part of the evidence in the case. Furthermore, medical reports in relation to
a previous application by Dingwall for an award of Commonwealth compensation
have become evidence in the case.

11.  In addition to these materials, reports have been tendered and evidence
given by medical practitioners who have examined and treated Dingwall during
his Army service and thereafter, including reports and evidence from a
psychiatrist who has been treating him since 1984.  In addition, each side has
required Dingwall to submit to medico-legal examinations by psychiatrists and
psychologists who have expressed conflicting views as to the nature of
Dingwall's psychiatric condition and its likely cause.  The opinions of these
practitioners were the subject of lengthy exposition and detailed
investigation in Court. Broadly speaking, the range of opinion extended from
diagnoses that Dingwall was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
("PTSD") (the most favourable for his case) to Anxiety Disorders of one kind
or another (less favourable) to Personality Disorder (unfavourable).

12.  In addition to scientific evidence directed to diagnosis, there was
considerable evidence bearing upon the foreseeability in 1957 of psychiatric
harm to persons performing duties such as those performed by Dingwall at
Maralinga.  This evidence was supported by the tender of a very large number
of articles and studies published in scientific journals.  Similar documentary
material was tendered in relation to evaluations of the diagnostic category of
PTSD and as to the nature and validity of certain psychometric tests which
have been applied to Dingwall in the investigation of his psychiatric
condition.  This literature was also extensive.

13.  The hearing of the case occupied 32 days and was, unfortunately, of
necessity, split into several hearing periods over a number of months.  The
case was very fully argued on both sides. Although, at the conclusion of
addresses, I had formed some fairly clear impressions, it has been necessary
to re-read the whole of the transcript and all the exhibits before arriving at
a final conclusion. This conclusion was necessarily based, to a not
inconsiderable extent, upon views I had formed from listening to and observing
witnesses in the giving of their oral testimony.  In particular, as so much of
the medical opinion of the case has been based upon history given by Dingwall,
it has been necessary to very carefully consider his reliability and

14.  Before I come to consider the issues in the case, I think it desirable to
set out by way of background, in chronological sequence, material which does
not appear to be in dispute, some factual findings on some disputed matters,
and some comments on the evidence.

15.  Dingwall was born on 11 September 1932.  He had an elder brother and
younger sister.  His family life appears to have been happy and stable.  The
family moved to the Sydney suburb of Gymea when he was a child.  Thereafter he
attended Hurstville Technical High School, leaving at age 15, having achieved
the Intermediate Certificate.  He was a fairly poor scholar but was proficient
at sport.  He appears to have been popular with his peer group.  He received
an encouraging reference from his school teacher upon leaving school and also,
subsequently, from an employer.

16.  After leaving school he was apprenticed to a brick-layer but did not
complete his apprenticeship.  Whilst so employed, he married his wife Margaret
Ellen.  The marriage has subsisted.  At the time of the marriage she was 19
years of age and Dingwall was in his 18th year. After marriage the couple
resided with Mrs Dingwall's parents at an address in Sylvania which was in the
same street as the home of Dingwall's parents.

17.  It appears that Dingwall abandoned his apprenticeship after marriage for
financial reasons and thereafter took up a number of occupations which
provided a better income.  Although the evidence is fairly sparse on the
subject, it would appear that none of them provided secure long-term
prospects.  This was obviously important as the Dingwalls, between November
1950 and December 1955, had four children, a son, a daughter, a son and
another daughter.

18.  It is clear that Dingwall and his wife, in those circumstances, would
have been desirous of Dingwall's obtaining secure employment.  Although he has
no recollection of it, it appears that he made an application to join the Army
as an officer cadet in September of 1953.  This application was not
successful.  Intelligence and aptitude tests were administered to him by Army
psychologists.  His scores on these tests indicated that he "did not meet the
required intellectual standard for entry into OCS".  Other details recorded at
the time indicated that he gave as his reason for wishing to enter the Army
that it provided security.  Although, later, in psychiatric reports obtained
by the respondent, adverse comment was made upon this motivation, I can see
nothing remarkable in it.  He was 21 years of age.  He was living with his
wife's parents.  His third child had just been born.  Since leaving school he
had had a number of fairly unsatisfactory occupations. His increasing family
obligations would have inevitably driven him towards the obtaining of secure
employment.  The Army records described him as being "reasonably stable and
mature" and also as being "co-operative".

19.  On 31 October 1955 Dingwall made a second application to join the Army,
this time for general entry.  This application was successful.  He received
psychometric testing appropriate to this level of entry.  The tests, again,
appear to have been designed to measure intelligence and aptitudes.  In these
respects he satisfied the requirements for general entry into the Army, the
results indicating that he would be suitable for work in "canteens".  The Army
record card described him as being tall and well-built, friendly and
co-operative and appearing to be stable and mature with some drive and
initiative. It was further remarked that he "should settle down well in the
Army" and was "possible NCO potential".  It was further recorded that he did
not drink, that he smoked, and had no interests outside home and family. It
was also noted that his reason for seeking enlistment was "security". In this
regard, it may be noted that his fourth child was born on 10 December 1955,
approximately one month after his enlistment.

20.  In view of the fact that Dingwall has been diagnosed by psychiatrists and
a psychologist called on behalf of the respondent as suffering from a
personality disorder of genetic and early environmental origin, it is
appropriate to note, at this point of these reasons, that the only evidence in
the case bearing upon his mental and emotional make-up at the time of his
enlistment gives no indication that any such disorder was then manifest.  He
describes himself as then being of a happy disposition, and as getting on well
with his family and peers.  He says that he had had a happy childhood and was
brought up in a friendly, stable home environment by highly responsible and
caring parents.  He enjoyed and was successful in outdoor sports and had an
emotionally healthy life.  His wife, who had known him and his family as
neighbours for a number of years, corroborated this.  When asked about his
personality she said "cheerful, happy.  He was very bright.  Certainly not a
worrier of any type".

21.  Mrs Dingwall also corroborated her husband's statement in the Army
records that he did not drink.  She expressed the view that there was
insufficient money to enable him to buy beer or spirits.  I do not understand,
however, that either he or she contends that prior to enlistment he was a
teetotaller.  There is reference in the evidence, which I accept, to his
having the occasional bottle of beer at this point of time.  No doubt, within
the severe financial limits that his family responsibilities imposed upon him,
he had at least an occasional drink with co-workers after knocking off for the
day.  I note that his diverse occupations included heavy outdoor activities
such as concreting, brick laying and tie cutting.  As he later became,
undeniably, a problem drinker, it is worth recording at this point my
satisfaction that, prior to his enlistment, he was not averse to liquor.
Clearly enough, however, it did not constitute a problem for himself or his
family.  Again, his wife described him in his pre-enlistment and early Army
days as being a good father and family man.  She said "he truly did love his
children and he was a good husband.  He provided and he did everything he
could to make sure we had everything we needed...he was very stable at that
time.  He was a happy personality".

22.  In evaluating this type of comment one must bear in mind that it is made
by a wife of a husband and also with the benefit of the mellowing influence
that the passage of time imposes on recollection. Mrs Dingwall, however,
impressed me as a sensible balanced person whose evidence could be accepted
with reasonable confidence.  I accept, as part of the background in this case,
that Dingwall, at the time he entered the Army, appeared to be a stable young
man accepting and discharging family responsibilities which were certainly
greater than normal for his age.  His intellectual attainment and aptitudes
were modest but he had a willingness to work and no evident personality

23.  After enlistment, Dingwall performed six months basic Army training at
Kapooka Army Camp at Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.  During this period
Dingwall suffered some ill-health.  His medical record shows regular attacks
of tonsillitis which resulted in his undergoing tonsillectomy in February
1956.  Also, in January 1956 he was admitted to Seven Camp Hospital for
observation as he had been vomiting dark blood and passing dark blood in his
stools.  These conditions, known as haemetemisis and malaena, have been
referred to in subsequent medical reports as indicating that he may have been
over-indulging in alcohol. Dingwall admitted to Dr Barclay, a psychiatrist who
gave evidence in his case, that "he had been drinking more than his normal
amount from the time he joined the Army".  It is to be noted, moreover, that
in March 1956 he was arrested by local police as a result of an incident in
the town which appears likely to have been alcohol related.  In his evidence,
Dingwall appeared to remember the incident and treated it lightly.  It was
probably not a matter of much importance, but I gain the impression from it
and the other matters to which I have just made reference, that, once Dingwall
was relieved of what must have been a fairly restrictive home environment and
was also in receipt of more regular income, he increased his drinking
considerably beyond the level of mere weekend indulgence.  No clear picture,
however, emerges.

24.  It may be noted that the medical record indicates that he suffered from
epistaxis, nose bleeds.  Reference to this condition appears with some
regularity in his medical reports.  It appears to have been a fairly constant
problem for him and could have some bearing upon the conditions referred to
above.  In his evidence he made some reference to fighting with fellow
soldiers.  He had, in the past, taken part in rugby football and in boxing.
It is difficult to see much significance in occasional outbursts of aggressive
behaviour in a young soldier in an Army camp.  However, these matters need to
be taken into account along with the descriptions given of him in the family
circle, when seeking to form a picture of him in the early years.

25.  After completing his initial training and a short period on general
duties he was posted to the Army Canteen Service attached to Eastern Command
in New South Wales.  He performed duties in the mess at Victoria Barracks.  In
November 1956, according to his medical records, he was admitted to
Rehabilitation General Hospital at Concord with a suspected duodenal ulcer.
He had been vomiting blood and gave a history of epigastric pain suffered over
a period of seven months.  His condition was investigated by way of a barium
meal x-ray.  He gave evidence that no ulcer was detected.  His original
recollection of the matter, given in evidence, was that the admission took
place after his tour of duty at Maralinga.  This recollection was incorrect.
The incident is of some significance in that it indicates that he was
suffering these particular symptoms before Maralinga and that he had come,
with the passage of time, to attribute, incorrectly, the problems he had in
this area to experiences during that tour of duty.  Moreover, according to
medical evidence in the case, these symptoms could well result from
over-indulgence in alcohol.

26.  Another sick report in his medical records indicates that Dingwall
received a wound to his left eyebrow in an alcohol-related incident.  He
remembered it when giving evidence.  He said that he was struck over the eye
with a bottle thrown by another soldier.  It was, however, an accident and not
the result of a fight.  The matter, again, is probably not of great
significance but it does indicate the possibility that alcohol was playing a
part in his day-to-day life.

27.  In July 1957 he was sent to Marrickville Army Depot as a kitchen hand
awaiting a new posting.  He was informed by the Warrant Officer in charge of
him that he was to be posted to Maralinga to perform canteen duties.  He was
aware that atomic bomb tests were being conducted there and had picked up some
information about the place from personnel who had come back from tours of
duty.  He had also received some instruction, as part of his general training,
in relation to atom bombs and atomic warfare.  He knew of the dangers of
radiation.  The evidence does not make clear the nature of the instruction he
received but it would appear that it consisted of some four lecture sessions
given as part of his basic infantry training.

28.  I am satisfied that he was not happy at the prospect of going to
Maralinga but accepted that it was an order that he must obey.

29.  It appears that, in giving accounts to examining medical practitioners
many years later, he provided an explanation of his being posted to Maralinga.
He said that he was sent to the area as a form of punishment.  There had been
some difficulties in relation to mess finances and he had been wrongly accused
of being involved in some dishonesty.  He gave no evidence of this in Court.
The fact that he gave such a version on another occasion is just one of the
many perplexing features of this case.

30.  His evidence satisfies me that he did not go to Maralinga as part of a
group.  He travelled on his own, mainly by train, to the railway station in
the Nullarbor Plains, which was the stopping place for travel to the Maralinga
test area.  This station and an associated small settlement was called
"Watson".  From Watson he was transported to the Maralinga village where he
was accommodated overnight.  This village has been fully described in the
evidence.  It was a fairly significant settlement in which were housed
personnel who were playing a role in the conduct of the British atomic tests
together with supporting staff, civilian and service.  It also had fairly
substantial social, recreational, and sporting facilities.  It was not
intended that Dingwall perform any duties in the Maralinga village.  He was to
work as a mess attendant at a subsidiary settlement closer to the atomic
testing range.  This settlement, which consisted mainly of tents, was called
"Roadside".  It was about 20 miles north of Maralinga village.  A sealed road
connected the two establishments.  North of Roadside was what was described as
the "forward area".  In this area were set up the various sites at which
atomic devices were detonated.  Another sealed road proceeded from the
Roadside village to the various explosion sites. Roadside was approximately
nine miles from the site where atomic explosions occurred during the period
that Dingwall was stationed at Maralinga.  These explosions were referred to
as the Antler series and were three in number, code-named in chronological
order: "Tadje", "Biak", and "Taranaki".

31.  Roadside was used as an establishment to provide facilities for personnel
involved in the setting up of the test sites, the assembling of the weapons
and their detonation.  Messing and other facilities were provided.  It appears
that about 100 persons were accommodated at Roadside from time to time during
the test period. There was a boom gate established across the road leading
north from Roadside.  Entrance into the area forward of the boom gate was
permitted only to authorised personnel and vehicles.  The terrain off either
side of the sealed road was rough.  It was desert country.

32.  Dingwall was transported from Maralinga village to Roadside the morning
after his arrival.  He was picked up by Corporal Henley who was his immediate
superior.  On arrival at Roadside he joined a catering team, consisting of two
cooks and a few stewards whose job it was to provide meals in the mess and
also to take meals, morning tea and the like, to forward areas where work was
being conducted.

33.  I am satisfied that Dingwall was not given any specific information or
instruction as to what was going on at Maralinga.  He knew, of course, that
testing of nuclear weapons had been taking place in the area and in other
areas in Australia since 1952.  This was common knowledge at the time.  Apart
from what he had received by way of general instruction on atomic weapons and
radiation, he was also aware from press reports and general information of the
dropping of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagisaki and of the short and
long term effects of the explosions.  There is no evidence that personnel
performing the tasks assigned to Dingwall and his colleagues were given any
further instruction as to nuclear matters than had been given to Dingwall.  I
am not satisfied that he missed out on any specific instruction as a result of
his being sent on his own to the Maralinga area.  At Maralinga village he was,
however, issued with an item of equipment described as a film badge.  He was
told that he was required to wear it at all times. He was given to understand
by the person issuing it that it was a device to record exposure to radiation.
This was in fact true.  With some hesitation, I also accept that Dingwall was
told that if the badge changed colour this was indicative of his having been
exposed to a significant degree of radiation.  This was an inaccurate
statement. Exposure to radiation registered not on the outer surface of the
badge but upon film contained within it.  Exposure could be measured only by
the development of the film under scientific control.

34.  At Maralinga village he was also required to sign a document described as
an "Undertaking of Secrecy" form.  The form is in evidence and contains a
number of references to the sections of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth).  Clearly
enough Dingwall would not have read or understood these.  I am satisfied that
he received a warning which he understood to mean that he could not divulge to
anyone details of what he observed in relation to the tests.  Dingwall was a
private soldier and I have little doubt that, in the circumstances of 1957,
this admonition was given to him forcefully and that he was threatened with
dire penalties should he commit any secrecy breach.

35.  I shall return to the matter of the secrecy undertaking later in these
reasons.  I note at this stage that it is difficult to determine with any
precision what effect this requirement actually had on Dingwall in the months
and years to come.  He says, in parts of his evidence, that he understood that
he could not, on pain of condign punishment, describe to anyone anything that
he had observed at Maralinga for the space of 30 years.  However, it is clear
that he did, in fact, tell his wife of a number of matters shortly after his
return from Maralinga.  Also, at various times, he alleges he told doctors of
his experiences and their effect upon him, whilst, at other times, he avers
that he refrained from telling doctors about his problems because of the
constraints of the secrecy undertaking.  I have found this part of his
evidence quite unsatisfactory, although I am satisfied that he signed the
document and received the warning.

36.  Other atomic tests had been conducted previously in the Maralinga area.
Those which had been held closest to the sites of the Antler series were known
compendiously as "Operation Buffalo".  Four detonations had taken place in
this series, the first on 27 September 1956, the second on 4 October, the
third on 11 October and the fourth on 22 October.  These explosions were
code-named in order "One Tree", Marcoo", "Kite" and "Breakaway".  The evidence
establishes that the sites of these explosions, known scientifically as
"ground zeros", were still visible in the area and could be reached by road
from the Roadside village.

37.  The Antler series of tests took place approximately one year later, Tadje
on 14 September 1957, Biak on 25 September 1957 and Taranaki on 9 October
1957.  Dingwall was present at all three tests. The first two were "tower"
tests, the nuclear device being exploded from a position on a tower frame
erected in the desert.  The third was a "balloon burst", the device being
suspended from balloons in the air. The first two explosions were of the order
of one kiloton, meaning that the explosive force was equivalent to one
thousand tons of TNT.  The final explosion was a 25 kiloton explosion.  This
was an explosion of greater dimension than had been produced by the atomic
bomb at Hiroshima.

38.  Adjacent to the Roadside village there was a small rise in the ground
which was known as Observation Hill.  This was the point from which the
explosions were witnessed by those present at Roadside.  I am satisfied that
it was at a distance of approximately 9 miles from each of the ground zeros.

39.  On the day of each detonation, a countdown procedure took place.  It was
facilitated by a public address system.  When the time for detonation was
reasonably close all those present at Roadside were directed to assemble at
Observation Hill.  I am satisfied that on each occasion approximately 150
persons were present, these being the personnel regularly in residence at
Roadside, together with personnel who had been brought out of the forward area
out of range of the explosions.  The evidence satisfies me that detonation did
not take place until all procedures necessary to ensure that all personnel
were out of the forward area, and were assembled together at Observation Hill,
had been complied with.  At the final stages of the countdown those present
were commanded to turn and face away from the detonation zone, put their hats
over their faces and force their knuckles into their eyes.  This procedure was
obviously designed to prevent ocular damage from the flash of the exploding
device.  The bomb was then detonated.  I am satisfied that the flash was such
that the brightness of it was visible through the hands.  Dingwall described
his being able to see the bones of his hand at the point of time when they
were still being held firmly against his face.  This phenomenon was
corroborated by a scientist, Professor Moroney, who gave evidence on a number
of matters in these proceedings.  I am also satisfied that there was a very
noticeable sensation of heat on the back of the neck experienced by those
present whilst their backs were turned to the point of explosion. After a
short period of time a command was given over the public address system that
persons present should turn.  It was then that the after-effects of the
explosion could be witnessed.

40.  Dingwall says that he was frightened on each occasion.  He does not
suggest, however, that he was overcome by terror or that he lost control of
his emotions.  Nor is it suggested in the evidence that anyone present on any
of the occasions was overcome by apprehension. Dingwall, in his evidence, was
able to describe the explosion and its after-effects without visible emotion
in a fairly matter of fact way. He spoke of "a big red ball...disappearing
into the sky with the white and black of smoke and dust associated with it
floating away".

41.  Professor Moroney gave a far more graphic description of the Tadje
explosion, which was the first atomic explosion that he had ever witnessed.
As his description is heavily relied upon in Dingwall's case, it is desirable
that I set it out in full.  I accept it as an accurate description of what he,
Dingwall, and others present, would have seen.  When asked what he saw
Professor Moroney gave the following evidence:-
      "... the fireball was still luminous.  It was moving, rising
      rapidly, the gases were circulating very, very vigorously
      and you could see that from the colours in the fireball that
      it was against, ... The fireball itself was against a
      pattern of smoke trails, triangular grid of smoke trails
      laid by a set of rockets which had been fired just before
      the nuclear explosion to provide a backdrop for the high
      speed photography which was a very important part of the
      information being obtained.  So one saw this luminous disc,
      or near luminous disc, against a white triangular grid of
      rocket trails ... The fireball rose quite quickly, the
      distance was about 14 or 15 kilometres away, ground fairly
      flat so it stood on the skyline quite clearly, there was
      nothing behind it.  By about 15 seconds it had essentially
      ceased to be luminous and it was starting to turn to a
      grey/brown/brown/grey colour as it entrained soil swept up
      from the ground surface.  The entrainment of soil ... about
      twenty seconds I could see the shock waves spreading out
      across the forward area from the point of detonation and it
      was lifting the surface soil as it came and shaking the
      scrub, ruffling it, so you could see the progression of the
      shock wave emanating from point of explosion but obviously
      see it much more clearly coming towards you, towards me.  It
      reminded me very much of a speeded-up version of when one's
      at the seaside and a weather change comes and it generates
      across the surface of the water and you see the, ... pattern
      change on the surface of the water as the front goes
      through.  But, of course, it was faster than that ... We
      felt it for one or two seconds.  It was like encountering a
      stiff wind but only momentarily, it was a peculiar
      experience; flattened your clothes against you. ... A couple
      of seconds after that the sound wave came ... Those 30
      seconds were silent and then the sound came through.  It was
      not a loud bang but rather an extended loud rumble ... What
      was happening was the rising cloud because that contained
      the radioactive debris which was going to be distributed as
      fallout.  Now at about a minute the cloud had lifted, risen
      quite substantially, and it was drawing up from the ground
      surface a great deal of loose material which was being swept
      in by ... after winds, ... coming in horizontally to the
      point of explosion and rising up, heavily burdened with dark
      coloured material, and chasing up ... the rising cloud,
      meeting it and continuing to rise up with it and you can see
      why it is called a mushroom cloud ... and then the heavy
      material was cascading out and it looked very much like a
      series of grey waterfalls as this soil was swept up and
      became too heavy to remain airborne and then fell back and
      cascaded down and remained near the site itself ... It
      essentially ceased because the cloud was then too high and
      the updraft to lift the soil off was much too small. ... At
      about 15 minutes the cloud had continued to rise and
      slowing, slowing, slowing and by, ... about 15 minutes it
      was stabilising in altitude and starting to diffuse and
      disperse and then move off on the prevailing winds ... The
      cloud had stabilised at about 10,000 feet."

42.  Obviously it was an awe-inspiring spectacle, especially for one who had
not seen it previously.  The subsequent detonation of Biak and Taranaki would
have been similar, with Taranaki, no doubt, because of its far greater force
and height being the most impressive of all. Professor Moroney's evidence
satisfies me that, for all concerned, the short time leading up to and
following the detonation was a period of high excitement.  At the conclusion
of the period of observation, no formal order was given to disperse.  People
present just drifted away to take up their duties, there being, of course,
some excited conversation about what had occurred.  I am satisfied that the
large group gathered on Observation Hill on each occasion consisted of service
personnel resident at Roadside, scientists involved in the tests, engineers
who had been involved in setting up the site and also persons with a major
role in the organising of the tests.  It would certainly have been known to
Dingwall and other members of the support staff at Roadside that persons of
great scientific knowledge and officers well up the chain of command were
present with them at the site and were exposed in the same way to the
explosion and its after effects.

43.  Dingwall says that he watched "it" for a fair period of time and then
went back to his tent "and kept coming out and looking at it all the time".
He said he had a feeling of anxiety.  He thought that "the dust - the wind
could change, dust could come back and fall out all over us".  He said that he
kept coming out and looking at the dust and worrying about it.  He did this
while getting the meal ready in the mess.  He also remembered that he raced in
and had a couple of showers because of the dust.  During the evening he kept
coming out to have a look, even though it was dark and he could see nothing.
He said that he was worried that he wouldn't be able to look after his family,
presumably on the basis that he feared some physical consequences from the
explosion or the dust.

44.  It is difficult to know what to make of this evidence.  I am satisfied
that, as part of preliminary training, Dingwall had been advised that
radioactive material should be washed off the body.  If he did not know this
before he came to Maralinga, he would certainly have become aware of it, at
least through conversation, because this washing procedure was part of the
decontamination requirements for those who had been to radioactive areas.
These procedures were conducted by the unit known as the Health Physics Unit
in premises especially set up for this purpose.  Dingwall, as a mess steward
at Roadside, was never required to undergo these procedures but he would have
known of them.  Although I am satisfied that Dingwall had in mind the
dangerous propensities of radioactive fallout, I am not persuaded that he
compulsively showered to the extent that he suggests in his evidence.  There
was no suggestion that he was ordered to do so or that it was even suggested
to the personnel present at Roadside that it was a sensible or necessary

45.  Moreover, I am satisfied that each detonation of the Antler series was
carefully planned having regard to meteorological information to ensure that
the dust drawn up into the atmosphere by the explosion would be carried by the
prevailing wind away from the Roadside area further out onto the range.  The
wind did not change and fallout from the explosion was not a problem.  Any
radioactive dust would have been deposited more than 9 miles away and
certainly not in the area of the Roadside village.  I am satisfied that this
would have applied in respect of each of the explosions.  Indeed, it is not
Dingwall's case, as presented on his behalf, that he was exposed to any
harmful level of radiation whilst he was at Maralinga, either from the
detonation of the nuclear devices or from any radioactive material resulting
from those detonations.

46.  Although he asserts that, in his view, he was so exposed and is still
likely to suffer physical harm, no evidence has been brought to support this
fear.  I must regard it as baseless.

47.  Dingwall relies upon other events which he says occurred at Maralinga.
He shared a tent with Corporal Henley.  The Corporal had been present as
earlier tests.  I accept Dingwall's evidence that Henley had with him in the
tent a piece of green glazed material which he used as a paper weight.  It is
apparent that material of this kind was produced by the effect of heat from
bomb blasts on sand and soil. Evidence in the case establishes to my
satisfaction that glazed areas existed around old ground zeros from previous
detonations.  I am prepared to accept that Henley had acquired a piece of this
material at some stage and had it in the tent.  There is no definite evidence
that it had dangerous radioactive properties at the time.  Henley, although a
rank above Dingwall, was clearly regarded by him as a friend.  If Dingwall had
been frightened by the presence of this material in the tent, he would have
complained to Henley and conveyed to him his fears. I am satisfied that he
would not have stood silently by if he had, in any significant sense,
apprehended danger.  It must be remembered that it is not his case that there
was any actual danger or that he has suffered any harm from the presence of
this material in the tent.  The question simply is whether its presence put
him in any significant state of fear causing him psychological shock.  There
is nothing to suggest that it did so.

48.  Reliance is also placed upon assertions by Dingwall that he and Henley
made some eight or nine expeditions into the off-road areas around Roadside
for the purpose of setting dingo traps.  Dingwall asserts that this was done
because the South Australian Government was offering a bounty on dingoes and
they were able to make some extra money.  It is strange evidence.  On the one
hand Dingwall asserts that he lived in dread of radioactive dust to the extent
that he compulsively showered whenever he came in contact with any dust at
all; on the other, he claims that he and Henley ventured afield into
potentially dangerous areas without concern.  In cross-examination he seemed
to resile from the suggestion that such expeditions had taken them into areas
to the north of Roadside which had been designated as contaminated areas.
Although I do not think Dingwall was attempting to mislead me, there is a
strong likelihood that, with the passage of time and the advent of his current
psychiatric state, his recollection of these matters is distorted.  I am not
prepared to accept that he went into designated dangerous areas even when
affected by alcohol.  More importantly, I do not accept that he was
significantly affected by fear, at Maralinga, at the thought of his having
done so.  Insofar as his case depends upon these allegations, I reject them.

49.  It is clear that, from time to time, Dingwall was required to go by
vehicle to areas north of the boom gate at Roadside for the purpose of taking
morning tea to scientists and other personnel working on the sites where
detonations were to occur.  The evidence of Professor Moroney, together with
detailed maps that he has produced of the situation at the time of the Antler
tests at which he was present in a scientific capacity, satisfies me that
these journeys would have been along established sealed roads to sites which
were not in dangerous areas.  On these occasions Dingwall's duties were simply
to transport the necessary food, drink and utensils to the site where the
other personnel were working, wait while the meal was consumed, then gather up
the utensils and materials and take them back in the vehicle to Roadside.
Clearly there was some waiting time involved at the site. These sites were in
desert areas.  There were in their vicinity, but at not inconsiderable
distance, the ground zeros of explosions in the earlier Buffalo series.
Dingwall gave evidence of filling in time, whilst waiting for the scientists
to finish their morning tea, by taking a walk from the site of the work to a
crater.  He gave evidence that it was about the size of a football or hockey
field and was about 30-40 feet deep.  Around the perimeter of it was "fused
glass and burnt mulga. The glass was green, lumpy, jadey looking stuff, like
something that comes out of a boiler".  He says that he got to within 20 feet
of the "green, jadey looking stuff".  He then realised what it was and "went
for my life".

50.  As best as one can determine from his evidence, the site to which he and
Henley had driven on this occasion was the site of the future Biak explosion.
I am satisfied on the evidence that there was no crater in the area which
remotely answered to the description that he has given.  The ground zero for
the Marcoo explosion in the Buffalo series was, I am satisfied, the only area
where a crater had been produced.  The explosion had taken place at ground
level.  The crater did not approximate remotely, in depth or extent, to that
described by Dingwall.  It had to be approached up a rise.  It was not
possible to gain any impression of its depth until the actual lip was reached.
It would not have been a easy matter to approach it from the Biak site. Having
regard to the onus that lies upon Dingwall, I am not persuaded that he
underwent this allegedly frightening experience.

51.  Dingwall gave evidence in relation to his film badge.  He said that it
changed colour after he had been at Maralinga for some time.  Indeed, as his
evidence progressed, he suggested that this happened in respect of more than
one film badge.  I am prepared to accept that there was one occasion when he
formed the view that there had been a change of colour, apparently from grey
to black.  Other evidence in the case satisfies me that the outer casing of
the badges could gradually change colour through exposure to the elements.
Such changes were not sudden.  As already indicated, such a colour change had
no relationship to exposure to radioactivity.  I am prepared to accept that
Dingwall became aware of a colour change to his badge and that he then handed
it in to an orderly corporal.  He was given another one in exchange and no
comment was made about the condition of the one he handed in.  It is a strange
piece of evidence.  I am prepared to accept that Dingwall was under a
misapprehension as to the significance of colour changes to the exterior
surface of the badge and that he handed it in the belief that a colour change
had occurred.  I am not persuaded, however, that he was in any state of fear,
let alone terror, as a result of what he had observed on the badge.  He was
told not to worry about it.  He never heard anything more about it.  In my
view, he has come to worry about it, in a neurotic way, only with the passage
of considerable time.  I am not persuaded that it was a matter of great
concern, let alone of psychological shock to him, at the time.

52.  Dingwall states that he started to drink heavily while at Maralinga and
that he also got into fights.  He says that he had nightmares about "the bomb"
and would wake up apprehensive and feeling guilty.  In effect, he says he took
to drinking excessively to drown his worries.  This is difficult evidence to
evaluate.  Clearly he and others had a lot of time on their hands.  I am
satisfied that there was a lot of talk which could well have been of a
disturbing kind to Dingwall.  No doubt the men talked amongst themselves of
the effect of radiation and the possibility of genetic problems resulting from
it.  Dingwall may very well have experienced some transient concern about
these matters and been happy to forget them in the canteen.  All this is
possible, indeed probably normal in the situation.  However, there is no
suggestion in the evidence that he became so disturbed as to be unable to
carry out his duties or that he displayed psycho-neurotic symptoms. I think
that it is very likely that he resented being at Maralinga, particularly at
Roadside.  One gains the clear impression that Roadside was uncomfortable and
unpleasant and, for the most part, boring.  Also, it contrasted unfavourably
and, to his mind, unfairly, with conditions at the Maralinga village.

53.  He took leave and returned home to his family before the completion of
his tour of duty at Maralinga.  He says that he did so because he was
concerned about them.  The nature of the concerns was not spelled out in any
detail.  They were, of course, safe and well-housed with his wife's parents.
He may well have felt some concern that his wife would be having difficulty
coping with such a large number of small children.  The detail as to the
granting of the leave and the reasons for it does not appear in the evidence.
I find myself unable to attribute any particular significance to it in the
context of the case. He returned to Maralinga and completed his duties.

54.  At some point of time, apparently after the last explosion, he suffered
an attack of vomiting and diarrhoea.  He asserts that this required
hospitalisation.  There are no records of such hospitalisation, but I am
satisfied that he was admitted to hospital at Maralinga and was treated for
his complaints.  The nature of those complaints is, of course, consistent with
problems that he had had previously which were obviously not related to
service at Maralinga.  He does not claim that the onset of these symptoms was
associated with any feelings of acute anxiety relating to exposure to
radiation.  I am simply unable to attribute any particular significance to
this period of hospitalisation although I am satisfied it occurred.  He
appears to have later become quite distressed at the absence of records
relating to this hospitalisation.  Considerable evidence was directed to this
question. I am quite unable to draw any inference from their absence.  I am
certainly not prepared to find that any "cover-up" occurred.

55.  Finally, Dingwall gave evidence of an incident involving an Aboriginal
family wandering in from desert areas where they might have been exposed to
radioactive fallout.  It is difficult to see what relevance this incident
could have to the claim on Dingwall's part that he suffered psychiatric injury
at Maralinga.  He does not assert that the incident caused him any personal
anxiety.  He gave evidence of it without apparent distress.  He was
cross-examined on the basis that it was a fabrication and, in fact, evidence
was given as to the occurrence of such an incident at a time before Dingwall
was posted to Maralinga. I am not persuaded that Dingwall has fabricated the
incident, but, on a consideration of the evidence, I cannot see that it has
any conceivable relevance to the claim that he brings.  If anything, it tends
to suggest that he was not living in a state of constant horror of radiation.
If that were so one would have expected that he would have sought to avoid
contact with the Aboriginals and any radioactive dust that they might have had
upon their person or clothing.

56.  During his period of leave from Maralinga Mrs Dingwall noticed a
difference in him.  She gave the following evidence:-
      "This was the first time I had ever seen him what I would
      call nervy ... He had suddenly become a very restless
      sleeper ... I could only call it as if he had been wrestling
      the bed.  He just - sheets and blankets would be everywhere
      and he never seemed to keep still ..."

57.  He also described Maralinga to her as being "hell on earth".

58.  Upon completion of his period of duty at Maralinga, he spent some time at
home with her before being posted to the Royal Military College at Duntroon.
She gave the following evidence as to her observations of him in this
      "He was very very tired.  This is where his sleeping pattern
      seemed to be either complete agitation or he would sleep
      13-14 hours as if he was thoroughly exhausted ... From that
      time on waking him became quite a feat.  The idea was to
      wake him up very, very gently because if you kind of bounced
      into the room and said, hey, time to get up or something
      like that, he'd practically shoot out of the bed."

59.  I accept that Mrs Dingwall observed changes in her husband after he
returned from Maralinga.  These changes must be evaluated in the context of
the whole of the evidence including the expert testimony in the case.  I shall
return to this question later.

60.  Dingwall took up duties at the Royal Military College as a mess steward.
He performed those duties for about nine months.  He had problems with his
health.  He commenced vomiting blood again.  This was in the context that he
was drinking heavily.  He said, in evidence, that he drank a lot and that
sometimes he would be drinking beer or whatever he could get.  Indeed, he said
that he drank every chance he had and that this was every day.

61.  The vomiting of blood occasioned his admission to the hospital at
Duntroon where he was investigated for a possible gastric ulcer.  After he was
discharged from that hospital he was admitted approximately a week later to
RGH Concord for similar investigations. The records indicate that he
complained that his job as a steward worried him a good deal and also that he
consumed a bottle of brandy every second night.  In his evidence before me he
claimed that the symptoms which led to his admission to hospital occurred in
the context of his having "flashbacks" and nightmares about the bomb at
Maralinga. The flashbacks involved periods of disorientation during the day,
associated with anxiety and guilt.  He gave fairly graphic descriptions of
these occurrences in evidence upon direct questioning from myself. He was
adamant, again on direct questioning, that he had told the doctors who
examined him not only that he had been at Maralinga but that he was having
these severe emotional symptoms.  There is, however, no record of any such
reported occurrences in his medical file.  This is despite the fact that, in
his evidence, he alleged that the episodes were similar to "having a fit".  I
shall return to the question of these alleged flashbacks later in these
reasons.  He also indicated that he was involved in fighting whilst at

62.  He applied for a transfer from Duntroon to some other posting which would
bring him closer to Sydney.  The basis of the application was a desire to be
closer to his family and to take a more active role in the bringing up of his
young children who were becoming something of a problem.  The transfer was
recommended and he was posted to 3 National Service Training Battalion at
Ingleburn.  It is of significance that this posting was not as a mess steward
or canteen attendant.  He undertook and passed a training course in weapons
handling in order to become a weapons instructor for National Service
recruits.  It is clear that this course and the subsequent duties performed by
him involved him in operating small arms, firing them on the range and being
present while they were fired.  He was, thus, subjected, on a fairly regular
basis, to the explosions associated with the operation of such weapons.  He
does not suggest that he experienced any problems in performing these duties
over a period of about two years.  He says that he moderated his drinking to
some extent whilst at Ingleburn.  His wife and family joined him in married
quarters at Ingleburn, having been separated from him whilst he was a
Duntroon.  His wife noticed that he was, in her opinion, drinking to excess, a
problem which she had never been aware of before.  She remonstrated with him
about this and it led to arguments.

63.  During the period he was at Ingleburn, his medical records indicated that
he had three gastric attacks requiring medical attention.

64.  In January 1960, Dingwall was posted to Area Command at Randwick to
perform duties as a mess steward.  He says that he was in charge of the messes
at Randwick.  His family moved into married quarters with him.  It is apparent
that he continued to drink heavily and this led to arguments with his wife.
He began to have problems with his right knee, which ultimately required that
he submit to a right medial meniscectomy for removal of a torn right medial
meniscus.  It is clear from the medical reports that this knee gave him
trouble both before and after the operation.  There are many sick reports
relating to the painful right knee which involved him, on occasions, in seeing
specialists.  There are also reports of serious nose bleeds, which were
related to chronic sinus disease, in itself related to his earlier activities
as an amateur boxer.

65.  On 10 May 1960 there is a sick report recording "anxiety state".  On 15
May 1961 there is a further reference in a sick report to
"bronchitis/depression".  There is no further detail as to these matters, nor
does Dingwall give any evidence specifically related to them.  He states in
evidence that he was having dreams which were worse at Randwick, but that he
did not tell anybody about them as there was no-one to tell.

66.  Whilst at Ingleburn he had enlisted in the Army for a further three years
and in November 1961, he re-enlisted for a further three years.

67.  In May 1961 he was posted to Kapooka as a mess steward.  So much appears
from his Army records.  He does not appear to give any evidence as to this
period.  Presumably his family was not with him.  He obviously continued to
drink as he got into a fight, which he instigated, with another corporal, as a
result of which he was reduced in rank to private.  There followed a posting
to Victoria Barracks as a mess steward where he remained until July 1964.  His
medical reports indicate that he continued to have problems with the right leg
and also with nose bleeds which required hospitalisation.  He suffered
bronchial asthma in September 1962.  In November 1962 his promotion to
corporal lapsed through a failure to complete certain necessary subjects.  In
the same month a sick report indicated that he suffered from an anxiety state
and in the subsequent month a sick report indicated that he suffered from
"persistent headache and neurosis (some change in personality, recommended to
see a psychiatrist)".  These matters are not the subject of any specific
evidence from him.  It is difficult to evaluate their significance.  It must
be noted, however, that they both occur in the context of the failed

68.  Dingwall remained at Victoria Barracks until 27 July 1964, when he was
posted to 108 Supply Depot Ingleburn.  Whilst at Victoria Barracks his duties
changed to that of maintenance dutyman and he also obtained a qualification as
a driver class III.  As appears from his medical records he continued to have
difficulty with his right knee and his problems with nose bleeds were also
evident.  In April 1964 he was admitted to RGH Concord in relation to this
problem.  The problem recurred in May and in June he was examined by a

69.  At Ingleburn, he performed the duties of warehouse equipment officer and
obtained a qualification as warehouse equipment operator class 3.  He
continued to have problems with nose bleeds.  It appears that these were so
bad as to cause anaemia.  He reported sick with this problem no less than
eight times in September and October of 1964.  It may be noted that in his
evidence and that of his wife, reference is made to anaemia, it being asserted
that they felt some concern as to whether it might be related to exposure to
radiation at Maralinga.  It seems clear enough that it was in fact related to
Dingwall's problem with nose bleeding, which had occurred before he went to
Maralinga. There would be, so far as the evidence goes, no apparent reason why
the Dingwalls should have had any concerns about radiation in relation to this
particular physical ailment of Dingwall.

70.  In October 1964 Dingwall re-enlisted in the Army for a further three
years.  His re-engagement documents indicated that he was "unfit for marching,
PT exercises and long standing".  This restriction, no doubt, related to his
continuing difficulties with his right knee.

71.  In 1965 he qualified as a warehouse equipment operator class II and
passed some subjects for promotion to corporal RAASC.  On 26 May 1965 it is
reported that he suffered "severe epistaxis causing blood loss".  He also had
a basal cell carcinoma removed from the left side of his neck in July 1965.  I
note that this condition was originally claimed as being related to his
Maralinga service.  No evidence has been offered to suggest that any such
connection existed.  In any event, it does not appear that it resulted in any
ongoing problems.

72.  On 26 July 1965 Dingwall was posted to H/QSSM (Randwick) where he
performed the duties of mess steward in the catering corp.  He qualified as a
steward and was promoted to the rank of temporary corporal.  In December 1965
he qualified as a mess supervisor and early in 1966 he was promoted to
temporary sergeant, group 2, mess supervisor. His medical records indicate
that he fractured a toe on his right foot requiring short hospitalisation, and
that he continued to have pain in the right knee.  In January 1966 the medical
records indicate that he suffered a recurrence of asthma, the previous
occurrence seemingly having occurred in September 1962.  It appears that this
condition did not settle immediately and required treatment.

73.  In June 1966 an Army medical examination noted that he had a disability
in the right knee, some hearing loss and obesity.  He was classified as being
unfit for prolonged marching or standing, unfit when good hearing was
required, and unfit for service in the field.  In August 1966 he reported sick
once again with asthma.

74.  In October 1966 he re-enlisted for a further three years with the matters
of medical unfitness noted on his re-engagement sheet.

75.  On 18 December 1966 Dingwall was posted to H/QPNG command at Port Moresby
as a mess steward.  In his evidence, Dingwall asserted that he was in fact in
charge of the officer's mess and the men's messes.  It is not clear whether
this was to have been a long term or short term posting.  He was not
accompanied by his family who continued to live at Randwick.

76.  In his evidence Dingwall said that his health was terrible in New Guinea.
He said that he was "getting these flashbacks and the asthma and I developed
asthma, very bad asthma".  He averred that he had never had asthma before
although later in his evidence, when questioned about the earlier reported
attacks in his medical records, he said that the type of asthma that he
suffered in New Guinea was different from that which he had previously.  I can
find no basis in the medical evidence for any such distinction.  I conclude
that the asthma which he undoubtedly suffered in New Guinea was, at most, an
exacerbation of a pre-existing condition.

77.  Dingwall said that he told the doctor in Port Moresby, a civilian doctor,
about the flashbacks but that he couldn't say very much because he thought he
was still under the "Secrets Act" and consequently could not talk about
anything that happened at Maralinga.  He said that he received the response
from the doctor that the doctor "knew nothing about radiation or anything like
that".  This evidence was fairly typical of evidence given by Dingwall
throughout the case on the subject of reporting "visions" and concerns about
Maralinga.  I shall refer to this topic later.

78.  It appears that the asthma attack was very severe in its onset,
requiring, according to Dingwall, the administration of oxygen. The sick
report refers to "asthma, difficulty in breathing, anxiety++". Although
reliance is placed upon this entry by Dingwall, I should say, at this stage,
that I have difficulty in seeing how it supports a case of psychiatric illness
resulting from experiences at Maralinga. Dingwall was choking and seriously
distressed by the asthma attack. Anxiety would be a perfectly natural

79.  Dingwall was admitted to Port Moresby General Hospital as his asthma
could not be relieved.  He was treated, apparently, with injections of
adrenalin and, once the condition had stabilised, was put on a regime of
cortisone medication.  It was decided that he could not continue service in
the tropical climate of New Guinea and that he should be returned to
Australia.  A further matter was added to his medical classification: namely,
that he was "unfit for service in the field or tropical climates".  Asthma was
added to the list of accepted medical problems on his medical classification.

80.  On return to Australia, he was posted to the Recruit Training Battalion
at Kapooka for about six months, his family continuing to reside at Randwick.
He continued to suffer from asthma but, apparently, it was controlled by
medication.  He alleges, however, that he had "flashbacks" twice a week, being
visions during the waking hours, and also nightmares nearly every night.  He
continued to drink heavily at the sergeant's mess, sometimes becoming drunk.
Notwithstanding this, according to his evidence, he was in charge of the
officer's mess, with the rank of sergeant, and performed his duties capably.

81.  From Wagga he was transferred, at his request, to Singleton in order to
be closer to his family.  At Singleton he was once again in charge of the
officer's mess.  After about a week he suffered asthma and hypertension.  He
was transferred to 2 Camp Hospital at Ingleburn where he remained under
treatment for about a month.  He was treated for asthma and hypertension.  On
discharge from the hospital he returned to Singleton Barracks but after three
days, suffered another asthma attack. He was placed for a brief time in
Singleton Hospital and then transferred to 2 Camp Hospital again.  He
estimated that he was hospitalised on this occasion for three to four months.
He said, in effect, that he was treated for asthma, hypertension and was fully
examined.  He was also sent to the hospital at Concord for tests, the nature
of which he could not recall.  He gave evidence of speaking to a doctor,
subsequently identified as Dr Grainger-Smith who he at first said "just fobbed
(him) off".  Later, in cross-examination, he said that he told this doctor
about his experiences at Maralinga and his flashbacks .  He thought Dr
Grainger-Smith was a psychiatrist.  Later in his cross-examination he became
quite specific about having a conversation with Dr Grainger-Smith.  He gave
the following evidence:-
    "I remember Dr Grainger-Smith was looking after the chaps that came
    back from Vietnam and I was there and he must have gone through my
    record and he found that I was in Maralinga.  He might have been
    interested - I had no idea what it is - and he called me into his
    office and spoke to me and he asked me about Maralinga and he said
    'How do you feel about it?' and I said - 'This could have been mixed
    up with all the asthma and that,' I think that was his idea of it
    and I was saying that I had nightmares and visions of Maralinga all
    the time and that's all I said to him.
    HIS HONOUR: Did he ask you or did you tell him what the nightmares
    and visions were?---No, I just said - I may have but I can't
    remember exactly what I told him.
    And this was one occasion when, you said, he called you to the
    office?---Yes, into his clinic where he had the - - -
    But it was a specific occasion and so far as you could see it was
    specifically for the purpose of asking you about Maralinga?---Why I
    think I had asthma and then the Maralinga came - he knew about
    Maralinga and he said 'Did you have any' - I think he said 'Did you
    have bad experiences in Maralinga?' or something.
    I do not know that I quite follow you there.  Do you have a
    recollection of him asking you why you thought you had asthma?---
    And in that context he asked you something about Maralinga?---Yes,
    your Honour; yes.
    Was this by way of a consultation with him?---Well, I was in 2-Camp
    Hospital and he was a major in charge of the hospital; yes, it would
    have been a consultation.  He called me away from everyone else into
    his rooms so I expect that's what it would be, yes.
    Was the doctor or someone in the room taking any notes of the
    consultation, you remember?---He was doing things himself and
    writing and what have you, yes."

82.  I shall refer later to the evidence of Dr Grainger-Smith as to his
contact with Dingwall.

83.  It appears that Dingwall's state of health caused the military
authorities to consider the question whether he was fit for service in the
Army.  Dingwall's medical records contain reports of examinations made for the
purpose of his classification in this period. They were, obviously, extensive
medical examinations.  The results refer to Dingwall's physical condition.
They contain no reference to Maralinga, or complaints relating to his service
there, or to emotional problems.  In fact the portion of the form referring to
"emotional stability" is ticked to indicate a positive finding.  The same is
true of the medical record containing the evaluation of his condition upon his
return from New Guinea.

84.  The final Medical Board report which led to his being discharged from the
Army placed his incapacity for service at 65%, comprising: asthma 40%, obesity
5%, hypertension 5%, right knee 10%, high tone hearing loss 5%.  For
retirement benefits purposes, he was classified as having an incapacity for
civilian employment amounting to 40%.

85.  It appears that Dingwall was unaware that the question of his fitness to
continue in the Army was under consideration.  I am satisfied that, when he
was advised that he was considered unfit to continue in the service and that
he was to be discharged, the news came as a great shock to him.  His wife
testified that when he conveyed the news to her he was clearly distraught.
Obviously, it had not been his intention to leave the Army and return to
civilian life.  I am satisfied that whatever complaints he might have had as
to Army life, he embraced the financial security that it provided and was
distressed at the thought of giving that up.

86.  He was formally discharged from the Army as medically unfit for further
service on 19 April 1968.  Thereafter he made a claim for invalidity benefits
with the DFRDB.  He listed his disabilities as chronic bronchial asthma,
recurring arthritis and stiffness in the knee. He made no claim for any
psychiatric or psychological disturbances.  Nor did he make any claims
relating to service at Maralinga, or to possible injury from radiation.  In
this context, it must be noted that he testified that from time to time, he
would endeavour to bring up with Army doctors his fears about radiation damage
and its possible relationship with symptoms he was suffering, such as gastric
symptoms, but was always "fobbed off".  Alternatively, he felt that he could
not raise the matter because of the "Secrets Act".  In my view, it is
noteworthy that, having been discharged from the Army in a situation where he
might well have sought to maximise his pension entitlements, he nevertheless
made no mention of these matters in what was a formal claim for invalidity

87.  It appears that the Dingwalls purchased a mixed business at Maroubra,
being a shop with a residence attached.  The business quickly failed and was
closed in August 1968.  No doubt Dingwall had problems in running it due to
his inexperience, but it is clear that the failure was occasioned largely by
his drinking problem.  This is clearly his wife's view and he certainly agreed
in his evidence that he was not functioning very well at the time because of
drink.  Dingwall was asked by counsel what was his state of mind while running
the shop.  He gave the following evidence:-
    I was worrying about the future all the time, you know.  Things
    weren't very bright because I'd been in the army and the money was
    there all the time and while I was in the shop the - I wasn't
    getting the same sort of money as I was in the army and - - -
    And your relationship with your wife and family?---I was feeling
    guilty about not being able to give the money, you know - have the
    money for her.
    What about the visions; had they gone?---No they were still there."

88.  Dingwall was treated by a local doctor, Dr Blows, at this time.  She
found that he was suffering from sudden attacks of depression, forgetfulness
and attacks of rage.  She makes no reference to any complaints about visions
or flashbacks.  Dingwall said that he made no mention to her of anxiety or
flashbacks because he was "sick and tired of talking to doctors about it.
They just didn't seem to understand or take any notice."  This evidence is
most difficult to accept.  Dingwall did not assert that he felt constrained to
say nothing about Maralinga and associated experiences because of the "Secrets
Act". He was now dealing with an apparently sympathetic civilian doctor but
chose, for the reason that he had been "fobbed off" by Army doctors, not to
confide in her the symptoms which form a major component of the case that he
now brings.

89.  Dingwall was clearly evincing signs of depression in the context of his
having recently been discharged from the Army and being confronted with the
failing of the business.  Dr Blows acquainted the DFRDB authorities with her
concerns.  She said that Dingwall should see a psychiatrist.  In August 1968
he was examined by Dr Phelps, of the Commonwealth Department of Health, who
noted that at that stage he was suffering from anxiety and depression.  It was
considered that psychiatric assessment should be done and an increase of his
percentage incapacity would be appropriate, if he were suffering from a
psychiatric condition attributable to Army service.

90.  As a result, Dingwall was examined by Dr Greenberg, an experienced
psychiatrist, on 7 March 1969.  Dr Greenberg reported in the following
      "Mr. Dingwall is suffering from a Depressive State of
      moderately severe degree which has persisted apparently
      since its onset in 1965/66 during the period he was working
      at Victoria Barracks.  This Depressive State is of a type
      which should be susceptible to appropriate treatment and he
      is clearly in need of such treatment.
      His disability in consequence of this depression appears to
      have been complete during the period after his discharge
      from the Army till the failure of his business in September,
      1968; from his history it seems clear that his depression
      was a major, if not the major, cause of the failure of his
      business undertaking.  Since then he has been working, of
      necessity, as a cook at the Prince of Wales Hospital though
      requiring some time off sick.  He is clearly having
      considerable difficulty in keeping up with this work because
      of his Depressive State so that I would say he is at least
      fifty percent (50%) disabled by his depression at the
      present time."

91.  The interview that Dingwall had with Dr Greenberg, for the purpose of
this report, is important in this case.  Dingwall gave evidence that he had
spoken to Dr Greenberg about his Maralinga and "flashback" problems.  He felt
able to do so because Dr Greenberg was, in his view, an Army psychiatrist.
This, presumably, allowed some loosening of the bonds imposed by the "Secrets
Act".  Dr Greenberg was called.  He had no recollection of the interview,
apart from his notes and report.  However, he stated that it was the type of
interview that he held in those days, on behalf of the Commonwealth
authorities, to determine whether a claimant was suffering from a psychiatric
condition connected with his service.  He would have expected that Dingwall
would have been aware that that was the nature and purpose of the interview.
His notes of the interview were tendered and he gave the following evidence
based upon them:-
    "Mr Dingwall complained of episodes of insomnia and jumpiness, said
    that he wakened easily and was generally restless.  He wakened with
    somatic feelings of rage, but there were no ideas associated with these
    feelings, that he had no dreams associated with them, that these feelings
    lasted three to four minutes.  They occurred about once per week with the
    same frequencies since onset.  In general he was more irritable and less
    tolerant, for example of children and sometimes of his wife.  He was
    depressed, especially in the morning over the previous three to four
    years.  He was apprehensive of meeting new people.  He had lost interest
    in things.  He said he could not be bothered with anything, for example
    fishing or swimming.  He had had to close a business in September 1968
    because of his health and that he had lost all his money some $1 800 in
    this.  That at this time he had been cooking at the Prince of Wales
    Hospital for 5 1/2 months, working some 40 hours per week. That he had
    time off with asthma.  He complained of being very nervy and over
    when driving.  His asthma was worse some days, than others.  He
    of headache two to three times per week and this was from his forehead
    radiating to the back of his head and sharp in character and lasting 20
    30 minutes and he got no relief from aspirin and similar drugs.  He had
    been taking prednisone presumably prescribed for his asthma for some nine
    months altogether and had ceased it some six months before his interview.
    He had gained weight while taking it and seemed not to have lost it
    He thought that he was more nervy and tense when taking the prednisone.
    He thought that the depression had come on him when working at Victoria
    Barracks three to four years before this, that is in 1965-66.  He thought
    it was just through boredom or something, he said, and he thought it had
    become a little worse as time had gone on.  He complained that his memory
    for recent events had been poor over the previous two to three years
    his memory for remote events was intact.  He said that his concentration
    was fair if he were interested.  His previous health, he said, had been
    good, he'd not suffered from any nervous disorder nor was it through any
    family history of nervous disorder.  And, I thought that he presented
    a depressive state apparently the endogenous type which would be amenable
    to appropriate treatment and that this had started during his service."

92.  Dr Greenberg further gave evidence that he considered the depression from
which he found Dingwall to suffering was endogenous, i.e. originating within
the sufferer and not having any obvious external precipitant.  The reference
to an absence of dreams would have resulted from specific questions asked by
the doctor of Dingwall, but he also stated with certainty that if Dingwall had
spoken to him about experiences at Maralinga he would have recorded them.

93.  This evidence indicates that at a period fairly shortly after Dingwall
was discharged from the Army and when he was suffering from a psychiatric
disturbance he did not, when the opportunity was given to him, relate any of
his problems to service at Maralinga or to dreams or flashbacks relating to
that service.  Although he had been discharged from the Army, predominantly
because of his incapacitation through asthma, he did not, in mentioning asthma
to Dr Greenberg, relate its onset to any anxiety experienced from recollection
of events at Maralinga or flashback experiences relating to those events.  He
specifically denied having any relevant dreams.  Quite apart from relating his
problems to Maralinga, he specifically related them to "boredom" experienced
whilst working at Victoria Barracks three or four years before.  Moreover, he
stated to the doctor that his previous health, which, in the context, must
have meant his health previous to 1965-66, had been good and he had not
suffered from any nervous disorder.  I shall make further reference to this
material at a later stage.

94.  Following Dr Greenberg's report, a further examination was undertaken on
behalf of the DFRDB authorities by Dr Lilley of the Department of Health.
This took place on 11 June 1969.  He found that Dingwall's depressive state
had improved and that he was apparently contented in his then employment as a
cook.  He gave a favourable prognosis, which resulted in the overall degree of
incapacity accepted for pension purposes, being increased to only 50%.

95.  After the failure of the Maroubra business, Dingwall worked as a driver
and a labourer.  However, in November 1968, as a result of an Army contact, he
obtained work as an undercook at the Prince of Wales Hospital and was able to
learn this trade while on the job.  This training stood him in good stead for
future employment.  In March 1969 he gained a job as a cook with Qantas in the
kitchens at Mascot.  He lost this employment as a result of some union
dispute, the details of which are not clear in the evidence.  Thereafter, he
returned to a cooking position at the Prince of Wales Hospital and
subsequently at the University of New South Wales.  It is clear that he was
not entirely happy in these occupations.  He seems to have been uncomfortable
in confined spaces and working in close proximity to others, a problem no
doubt related to similar problems of a more severe kind that he experienced in
later years.  It seems that he remained under the care of Dr Blows for day to
day medical problems.  He states that he was "drinking a fair bit again" but
"was coping".  I am satisfied that his drinking was a problem, if not at work,
then at least in the home.  The drinking culminated in an incident in April
1970, about which he gives a very limited picture in his evidence, either
through reluctance to speak of it or through a genuine failure to recall it.
He characterised it as a "pushing and shoving" incident involving his eldest
son and related to the son's failure in some university exams.  Quite clearly,
there was much more to it than that.

96.  I am satisfied that he had returned late from shift work well under the
influence of alcohol, that he made an attack upon his wife and that the sons
came to her defence.  The situation became ugly when he produced a knife.  The
police were called and he was taken away. No charges eventuated, but the next
day he saw Dr Blows, who referred him to Dr Ellard, an experienced
psychiatrist.  I am satisfied that he made no reference to Dr Ellard of any
problems relating to Maralinga or his experiencing anxiety or "flashbacks" in
relation to his period of service or worries about radiation.  Dr Ellard gave
evidence, which I accept, that, although he had no recollection of the
interview other than the report that he wrote at the time to Dr Blows, he
would, nevertheless, because of the experience he had at the time with Air
Force personnel, have regarded such information as of significance and have
recorded it in his report to Dr Blows of 20 April 1970.  In that report, he
refers to the fact that Dingwall, in telling him about the incident, had "left
out all the more spectacular bits".  He gave his opinion in the following
      "I think the essence of the problem is that he has never
      grown up.  Although he has high aspirations he has never
      done much about it and generally makes up for this
      deficiency by symbolically thumping his chest and
      proclaiming himself a man.  The difficulty is that not
      everyone does what he wants them to do and he is then
      troubled by rage and depression.
      His sons are getting big enough to stand up for themselves
      and I think this is worrying him too, since he has dealt
      with them before by laying down the law.  One of them
      stopped going to the university possibly because of the
      father's attempts to run his life for him.
      In essence then, I think that we are seeing the response of
      an inadequate man to the refusal of the world to dance the
      way that he wants it too (sic).  Whether or not something
      fundamental can be done to help him is a bit difficult to
      say at this juncture but his stress was so great that I
      thought that we should hospitalise him for a week or two and
      see what can be done to bring the situation under control."

97.  In effect, in what was an informal report to a fellow practitioner, Dr
Ellard was providing a diagnosis of a personality disorder unrelated to any
past trauma and having its genesis in Dingwall's genetic constitution.  Dr
Ellard affirmed this view in his oral evidence.

98.  As a result of Dr Ellard's examination, Dingwall entered a private
psychiatric hospital for a fortnight.  This hospital was conducted by Dr
Lonie, a colleague of Dr Ellard.  She also reported to Dr Blows on 7 May 1970.
She gave her opinion in the following terms:-
      "During his stay in hospital he had a fairly superficial
      look at himself, particularly his need to assert himself
      aggressively in any situation in which he found himself.
      Towards the end of his stay he was paying some lip service
      to the idea that continued chest thumping exhibitions might
      not really be required of him, but I suspect that this was
      more in the nature of an attempt to be a good boy to please
      the therapist, rather than any far reaching change.  He has
      now bought a new house in the blue mountains, and says that
      he intends to lead a humble life driving a postal van.  For
      some reason he seems to see this as a major advance for him,
      possibly because he can visualise himself as a large fish in
      a smaller pool.  In fact I think his life is likely to go on
      much as before and would think there is little that can be
      done to alter the situation.  I have asked him to come and
      see me again in a month but will be surprised if he does so.
      He is not on any medication."

99.  It is interesting to note that Dingwall, in his evidence, says that at
this period of time he was "still dreaming a lot and waking up in the night".
Although this evidence is not specific, I consider that he was attempting to
convey that he was suffering from dreams about experiences of Maralinga.  It
is quite obvious that during a period of a fortnight, whilst undergoing
therapy in the hospital, he could not have raised the question of distressing
dreams or flashbacks as being part of his problem.  Undoubtedly, any such
symptom would have been recorded and investigated.

100.  As indicated in Dr Lonie's report, the decision had been made to leave
Maroubra, in favour of residence in the Blue Mountains.  A home had been found
at Springwood and the family moved there in November 1970.  Later they moved
to a new address in Leura where they resided until moving to Port Macquarie in
May 1979.  During this period Dingwall's medical practitioner was Dr Packham
of Springwood.  It appears that he was a neighbour at Springwood and that some
friendship developed between the families.  He consulted Dr Packham for a
number of complaints, none of which related to any experiences at Maralinga.
During the same period he had three periodic reviews for the purposes of the
DFRDB.  Again, no complaint was made or investigated in relation to any
problems allegedly resulting from his service at Maralinga. Dingwall says that
he still had "the visions or flashbacks" from time to time.  However, it is
clear that he did not feel sufficiently concerned to seek any assistance from
Dr Packham, despite the relationship of friendship which existed.

101.  During the period when the Dingwalls were living in the Blue Mountains,
Dingwall had a number of employments.  He worked on a number of occasions as a
cook, the first being with the NSW Government Railways on the Indian Pacific
train.  I am satisfied that he found cooking in the confined space of the
train difficult and that he did not like the hours and the necessity of being
away from home.  It seems, however, that he was able to perform the work
satisfactorily.  He had other cooking jobs in restaurants and hospitals in the
Blue Mountains, sometimes on a permanent basis and sometimes doing relief
work.  He also operated for a short time a fruit juice run.  He also did
labouring jobs.  His wife's evidence gives a reasonable picture of his life
and health during the period.  He was, at times, moody and irritable, and at
other times cheerful.  At times he drank to excess.  He was occasionally
violent.  The impression one gets is that his general behaviour and his moods
were better than they had been whilst living in Sydney and that the
relationship between the two was basically happy although, by no means,
perfect.  It is fairly plain that he would, from time to time have difficulty
in coping with work.  This was probably no different from the difficulty he
had had in running the shop at Maroubra and probably related to the occasions
when he over-indulged in alcohol.

102.  Clearly, his general health was not good.  In June 1971 he suffered what
must have been a disturbing episode which his wife describes quite
graphically.  He had obtained a job in a large restaurant which was under
construction in Penrith.  He had assisted in the design of the kitchen where
he was to become the chef.  This had involved considerable work.  It appears
that he worked through a full night and then, without significant intervening
sleep, drove to Sydney to observe a cadet parade at his younger son's school.
Clearly this journey overtired him and shortly thereafter he suffered an
episode of very bad headache and loss of sight.  His eyesight returned after
three days but, according to Mrs Dingwall, he has been inclined to suffer
headaches since that occasion.  Dr Packham diagnosed the problem as transient
coronary ischaemia.  Mrs Dingwall considers that there has been some minor
after-effects mainly in relation to headaches.  It is to be noted that there
were subsequent occasions when he consulted Dr Packham for headaches and loss
of vision, apparently temporary, in the right eye.

103.  After moving to Leura, Dingwall obtained work as a cook at the
Boddington Red Cross Hospital at Wentworth Falls.  The work appeared to suit
him and, apart from occasional bouts of drinking he was happy in the job.  He
was working at the hospital in Christmas 1977 when it was threatened by the
major bushfires that occurred at that time.  It appears that the fire was very
close to the hospital and he assisted in the evacuation of elderly patients.
He also assisted in the evacuation of patients from the Queen Victoria
hospital.  This activity made him very tired and agitated.  Shortly
thereafter, he suffered a collapse at work and what appears to have been an
angina attack.  He was advised by Dr Packham to give up the job as it was
becoming too much for him.  It seems that he had a heart condition which
required that he did not undertake occupations which could be stressful.

104.  He took some temporary employment in the area after leaving Boddington
hospital, but the decision was made to move to Port Macquarie in order to take
up work in that area.  The Dingwalls moved to Port Macquarie in May 1979 and
resided there for about 16 months.  Despite the hopes of employment, this did
not eventuate.  This was obviously disappointing to him.  When asked about his
mental condition at this time, Mrs Dingwall said "he wasn't very happy about
the fact he couldn't work and you know, he really did try.  That was the first
time actually I can remember that he would go around places and actually
apply, you know."  There were occasions when he drank to excess.  He remained
a restless sleeper and occasionally suffered from asthma attacks of an
apparently minor kind.

105.  In 1980 the couple moved to Ballina, again in search of work which
proved to be unobtainable.  Dingwall had been receiving unemployment benefits
whilst at Port Macquarie.  At Ballina he started to have trouble with his
back.  He came under the care of Dr Calnan, who was also a neighbour, and
became a friend of the Dingwalls.  Dr Calnan diagnosed lumbar scoliosis which
would prevent Dingwall from ever returning to his work as a cook.  He
recommended that Dingwall apply for an invalid pension.  This application was
made with Dr Calnan's assistance on the basis of hypertension, chronic asthma,
recurrent severe anaemia, complete deterioration of the spine with crushed
thoracic vertebrae.  After some dispute and an appeals hearing, this
application was allowed and a full invalidity pension was granted in April

106.  It is clear that Dr Calnan was interested in Dingwall and tended to his
medical needs as they arose.  It is equally clear that Dingwall made no
complaints to the doctor, even though he consulted him in relation to
depression, of any matters relating to experiences at Maralinga including
troublesome flashbacks.  Indeed, Dingwall agreed that from 1977 to 1982, in
broad terms, Maralinga was not a matter of concern to him.  In this regard I
should indicate that I accept that, from time to time, he would tell Mrs
Dingwall that he felt he had had a dose of radiation at Maralinga and would
probably one day get cancer.  I do not get the impression, however, that these
occasional comments were taken particularly seriously.  However, it appears
that Dingwall was aware, with what degree of specificity is not clear, of
personnel who served at Maralinga having subsequently died of cancer.

107.  It appears that, in 1982, there was some newspaper publicity about the
possibility of a Royal Commission into the Maralinga tests and, in the context
of that publicity, Dingwall received a letter from the Commonwealth Department
of Health enclosing a form of questionnaire for atomic weapons test personnel.
The letter indicated that he had been identified as one of the personnel and
requested that he complete the questionnaire. Mrs Dingwall assisted him to do
so.  The document is in evidence.  Dingwall answered questions indicating that
he had been a mess steward, that he had performed decontamination of
"personnel, equipment, vehicles or aircraft and had visited areas signposted
as radioactive".  I can detect nothing in the evidence that he gave in this
case to suggest that he had engaged in either of those groups of activities.

108.  He indicated, by ticking appropriate boxes, that he had been issued with
a film badge.  This answer was clearly correct.  He also indicated that he had
not been required to pass through health physics check points on leaving
radioactive areas.  The evidence in the case does not suggest that he had, as
part of his duties, entered radioactive areas giving rise to the necessity for
health physics monitoring.  He indicated that he had been required to undergo
decontamination procedures (e.g. showers).  The only evidence in the case as
to this is to the effect that he, of his own volition, would shower when he
felt he had been exposed to dust.  There is no suggestion that he was directed
to undertake this procedure or any other decontamination procedure.

109.  He further indicated that he believed that he had been exposed to
radiation because he had worked near a blast area, handled radioactive
materials, witnessed explosions, and visited blast areas. The evidence given
in this case supports none of those contentions, other than the witnessing of
explosions from Observation Hill.

110.  He described his health over the last few years as being very poor in
comparison to others of his age and that he had been prevented from doing the
kinds of things other people of his age did "most of the time".  He also
indicated that during the last few years his health had worried or concerned
him "all of the time".  I can find no justification in the evidence for such
extreme assertions.

111.  In relation to inquiries about major illnesses, he indicated that his
first major illness was chronic asthma and hypertension diagnosed in 1966/67
by Army doctors.  His second major illness was recurrent anaemia -
unidentified cause - diagnosed in 1960 as shown in Army medical records.  The
third major illness was slight stroke and myocardial ischaemia causing
temporary blindness diagnosed by Dr Packham in 1971.  The fourth illness was
ulcerative rhinitis diagnosed by Dr Raikundalia on reference from Dr Calnan
and, fifthly and finally, a complete degeneration of all intervertebral discs
L2/S1 diagnosed by Dr Calnan and a radiologist.

112.  It may be noted, in the first place, that no claim was made for any
psychiatric disturbance, anxiety, depression, intrusive flashbacks or the
like.  Secondly, the information supplied could have suggested that Dingwall
was possibly suffering from the effects of exposure to radiation.

113.  In these circumstances, it is not surprising that Dingwall received a
follow-up telephone call from Dr Lloyd of the Commonwealth Department of
Health.  The contents of the conversation have not been given with any
specificity.  I am prepared to assume that Dr Lloyd made sympathetic comments
and suggested that Dingwall make a claim for compensation under the (then)
Commonwealth Employees' Compensation Act 1930 (Cth).  This he did on 17 July
1983.  Dingwall and Mrs Dingwall agree that, from that time onwards, Maralinga
and its alleged effect upon Dingwall, became an obsession with him.  He
developed marked anxiety and phobic symptoms.  He became severely depressed
from time to time.  He suffered agoraphobia and could suffer panic attacks in
supermarkets unless accompanied by her.  On 6 June 1984 Dr Calnan referred him
to the care of a local psychiatrist, Dr Petroff, whose patient he has been
ever since.  Dr Petroff has given evidence that Dingwall suffers from an
anxiety state.  It is accepted by the respondent, as I have already indicated,
that this is so.

114.  On 9 September 1986 Dingwall was interviewed by two members of staff
from ComCare and a statement was taken from him.  This statement was
presumably used in the determination of his compensation claim.  The
consideration of the claim was assisted by a document described as a "case
summary" which has been placed in evidence.  This document refers to a number
of matters and includes a summary of a report obtained from Dr Petroff on 24
October 1984.  Although it is lengthy, I consider it useful to include it in
these reasons.  It reads as follows:-
    "1    Claim submitted on 27 November 1983 in respect of 22
      conditions which are attributed to exposure to radiation
      whilst serving at Maralinga.
      2     Conditions listed are:
      (a)  myocardial ischaemia
      (b)  thrombosis behind right eye
      (c)  temporary loss of vision
      (d)  depression
      (e)  asthma
      (f)  epistaxis
      (g)  anaemia
      (h)  hypertension
      (i)  deafness
      (j)  sinusitis
      (k)  hiatus hernia
      (l)  loss of both cartileges (sic) right knee
      (m)  moodiness
      (n)  irritability
      (o)  loss of memory and concentration
      (p)  bouts of hyperactivity
      (q)  bouts of lethargy
      (r)  curvature of spine
      (s)  impotency (last 3 years)
      (t)  massive calcium deficiency
      3     Department of Defence had confirmed claimant's service at
      Maralinga with MRSU from 11 July 1957 to 10 December 1957.
      4     Claimant's duties as a mess steward included 'multiple
      visits made to bomb sites on the occasion of three atomic
      blasts from a couple of days after each occurrence for the
      purpose of providing refreshment for scientists and other
      army personnel observing and resting there - several times
      daily.  No protective clothing was issued.  Normal army
      uniform was worn with the addition of a Kodak disc.  My
      disc, at one time, changed colour, indicating radioactivity.
      This was reported at RAP Maralinga and simply replaced by
      another.  The original being surrendered.  My immediate
      superior who accompanied by to the sites - Cpl Matt Henry
      (sic) - is now deceased'.  The claimant further states that
      'in addition, our permanent living quarters were mainly
      under canvas at Roadside, approximately nine miles from the
      sites.  We were continually covered with dust, which was
      presumably, on occasion, carried from the sites by wind
      5     The claimant's name is on list of personnel at the UK
      programme and also on Defence lists but does not record a
      radiation dose.
      6     During the period Mr Dingwall was at Maralinga the Operation
      Antler tests were carried out, ie 14 and 25 September 1957
      and 9 October 1957.  There were also a number of minor
      trials carried out during the period Mr Dingwall was
      stationed in the area.
      7     The Report of the Royal Commission indicates that Operation
      Antler was the best planned and organised of all the tests
      and adequate precautions were taken to protect the personnel
      Medical Evidence
      8     Service medical documents indicate that Mr Dingwall suffered
      from chronic obstructive airways disease, hypertension,
      obesity, hearing loss, right knee injury and epigastric
      pain.  There are also references to absences due to anxiety
      on 10 May 1960 and 15 November 1962.  The former occurred
      after the findings into an investigation into his right knee
      injury were released and the latter occurred following his
      failure to attain the rank of corporal.
      9     As a result of these conditions, Mr Dingwall was discharged
      medically unfit from the Army on 19 April 1968.  He was
      assessed to be 40% unfit for civil employment - general
      labouring work.
      10. Dr I Petroff states in his report of 24 October 1984 that Mr
      Dingwall consulted him for treatment of an anxiety state on
      21 June 1984 and 27 September 1984.  Dr Petroff considers
      that Mr Dingwall suffers from an anxiety state with symptoms
      of moderate severity.  Mr Dingwall's presence at Maralinga
      at the time of the atomic tests combined with the apparent
      cover up and loss of his hospital notes, enquiries by
      Government officials into his experiences at Maralinga and
      finding that 50-70 people who were there are now dead have
      all contributed to his anxiety state.
      11    At interview in September 1986 Mr Dingwall was asked whether
      any other elements of his defence service may have
      contributed to his condition(s).  With the exception of his
      knee condition and deafness he maintained that all the other
      conditions, including his anxiety/depression were linked to
      his time at Maralinga.  He attributed his current depressive
      state to the publicity arising from the investigations by
      the Royal Commission into the Atomic Tests and the knowledge
      that a number of his contemporaries who worked at Maralinga
      have subsequently died.  In view of the two recorded anxiety
      state episodes in 1960 and 1962 (prior to the publicity) Mr
      Dingwall was questioned as to possible causes.  He again
      related these episodes to Maralinga this time stating that
      eighteen months to two years after he had left Maralinga he
      found out that a few of his colleagues had died of cancer or

115.  Dingwall received determinations in his favour in respect of hearing
loss and knee injury on the basis that these arose from his Army service, not
service at Maralinga.  All other claims for physical conditions were
disallowed.  However, he received a determination in his favour to the effect
that he had anxiety state contributed to by his employment - army service at
Maralinga, back dated to 5/11/81.

116.  This last determination was made the subject of appeal to the
Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  There was a hearing in March 1988 at which
both Dingwall and Mrs Dingwall gave evidence.  On 22 April 1988 the Tribunal
set the determination aside.

117.  These present proceedings were commenced by Dingwall in 24 November
1988.  It is apparent from Dr Petroff's report, notes, and evidence that he
has regarded Dingwall's engagement in all these litigious endeavours as being
detrimental to his emotional health.  He has advised against them.  It is
clear that, in his view, Dingwall's obsession with Maralinga and his cases has
exacerbated his anxiety state and phobias and has militated against their
successful treatment.

118.  The necessary preparation of both sides for trial has involved Dingwall
in submitting to many examinations by psychiatrists and psychologists, in
addition to those undertaken in 1988 in relation to his claim for Commonwealth
compensation.  The majority of these took place in October and November 1992,
with the result that in those months, Dingwall became a fairly constant object
of attention of the medical profession.  It is obvious that Dr Petroff
regarded this as detrimental.  He took the view that Dingwall, whom he
regarded as having pronounced narcissistic traits in any event, was seeing
himself as "the star of a big inquiry".  I should say that Dingwall, in the
witness box, at least to some extent, gave me the same impression.  Clearly,
Dr Petroff also saw Dingwall as being extremely suggestible and likely to
embrace ideas which accommodated to that starring role.  I also formed this

Diagnosis of "PTSD"
119.  Earlier in these reasons, I indicated the categories of psychiatric
disorder which have been the subject of debate as being appropriate diagnoses
of Dingwall's present condition.  The diagnosis of PTSD, as a chronic
condition, is the one most favourable to Dingwall. It would also have the
advantage, if established, of fitting, without legal argument, into the
category of "nervous shock", known to the law.

120.  I have read and heard a truly daunting amount of expert testimony on the
subject of this diagnostic category.  It is a diagnostic label of fairly
recent origin.  It certainly did not exist as such in 1957, although evidence
in the case indicates that similar conditions had in the past been diagnosed
under nomenclature such as "shell shock" or "war neurosis".  There is even
dispute amongst psychiatrists as to whether it should exist as a separate
category and not be regarded simply as a type of anxiety state.  It would
obviously be both unproductive and inappropriate for me to seek to solve
disputes which are currently occurring at a scientific level.  I can accept
for present purposes that it is scientifically established that a severe
traumatic experience can produce serious and ongoing psychological
consequences to the person who has experienced it.  Indeed, the law itself has
long recognised this fact in well known cases (e.g. Bourhill v Young (1943) AC
110; Hambrook v Stokes (1925) 1 KB 141; Owens v Liverpool Corporation (1939) 1
KB 394).

121.  Whilst I have been given to understand in the evidence that the current
formulation of the elements of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is likely to
undergo change in the near future, it is nevertheless convenient to have
regard to the elements of this disorder, as postulated by the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association
(DSMIII).  These have been conveniently expounded in the report provided by
the witness Gregory Hampton as follows:-
      "In order to meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of
      Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association
      (DSMIII) criteria for PTSD, Mr Dingwall would need:
      . to have been exposed to an extreme stressor outside the
        range of usual human experience;
      . to have re experienced the events through either
        recurrent and intrusive recollections, distressing
        dreams, or sudden acting or feeling as if the traumatic
        event were recurring; or experienced intense
        psychological distress at exposure to events that serve
        as reminders of the traumatic event;
      . to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma as indicated
        by three of the following:
        . efforts to avoid thought or feelings associated with
          the trauma;
        . efforts to avoid activities or situations that arouse
          recollections of the trauma;
        . diminished interest in significant activities;
        . feelings of detachment;
        . restricted range of affect;
        . numbing of general responsiveness;
        . sense of foreshortened future;
      . to be suffering symptoms of increased arousal such as
        hyper vigilance, sleep disturbance and difficulties

122.  The scientific literature tendered in the case makes it plain that the
nature of the "stressor" is the subject of current debate.  Should the extent
and impact of it be determined purely by objective standards or should account
be taken in this determination of the particular susceptibilities of the
person experiencing it?  An experience may be extraordinarily stressful to one
person because of peculiarities of background, experience, emotional make-up
and the like, whilst it may not be particularly stressful to another not
having these peculiarities.  I gather that these problems are to be resolved
by a committee decision before the publication of the fourth version of the
manual.  It would be inappropriate for me to seek to make any contribution to
this debate which, as Dr Ellard pointed out in evidence, is beginning to take
on the appearance of medieval scholasticism.  It is, happily, unnecessary for
me to do so for the purpose of considering whether it has been established in
the case that Dingwall has suffered PTSD as a result of his service at
Maralinga.  I can focus for the most part on the second requirement of
"recurrent and intrusive recollections and distressing dreams or reminders".
This is the area of nightmares and "flashbacks".  It is clear that these
symptoms are generally regarded as being essential to a diagnosis of PTSD.

123.  So far as the external stressor is concerned, I am prepared to accept,
for the purposes of this case, that the witnessing of an atomic explosion,
coupled with severe fear of radiation damage inflicted directly by the
explosion itself, or indirectly from radioactive fallout material could, in
some circumstances, amount to exposure to an "extreme stressor" within the
accepted definition of PTSD.  The real question for me is whether I am
satisfied, on the whole of the evidence, that Dingwall has been afflicted with
the recurrent psychologically distressing and incapacitating experiences
involved in intrusive recall, flashbacks and nightmarish dreams.

124.  In arriving at a determination as to whether Dingwall has suffered PTSD,
it is also appropriate to consider whether he has displayed any of the
"avoidance" signs referred to, or suffered any of the symptoms of "increased

125.  In recounting the background facts of the matter, I have already dealt
with a number of occasions on which it might have been expected that Dingwall
would have complained of essential PTSD symptoms but failed to do so.  I must
now make reference to other matters bearing upon this question.

126.  In his evidence, Dingwall gave fairly detailed accounts of both
nightmare and flashback experiences occurring soon after his witnessing of the
explosions and continuing up to the time of the hearing, to an extent which
could properly be described as recurrent. If his evidence, in this regard, is
to be accepted, then, even Dr Shand, an eminent and experienced psychiatrist
called by the respondent, who explained all Dingwall's problems in terms of a
genetic personality disorder, would have accepted that Dingwall could have
qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD.

127.  There is no doubt that Dingwall, in his evidence, made a significant
feature of nightmares and flashbacks.  He said that he had nightmares every
second night whilst at Maralinga and with similar regularity at Duntroon.  The
content of the nightmares was the explosion of the bomb and was accompanied by
feelings of anxiety and guilt.  At Duntroon he had regular flashback
experiences during the day.  He would be disoriented for a couple of minutes,
during which time he would, in his mind, be back at Maralinga with the bomb
and be, for practical purposes, unaware of his surroundings.  After such
episodes, he would sometimes feel nauseous and would, in fact, on occasions
vomit.  The vomiting would sometimes be of blood.  He stated that he reported
the episodes to doctors at Duntroon and also at RGH Concord.

128.  At Ingleburn, he was still getting these flashbacks but not to the same
extent.  At Randwick the nightmares and flashbacks "got worse actually".  They
continued in New Guinea and he reported the fact, he said, to the doctor at
the Port Moresby General Hospital.

129.  Dingwall said that the problem was still experienced in 1967, when he
was stationed at Wagga Wagga, having returned from New Guinea after his severe
asthma attack.  After discharge from the Army he continued to suffer
flashbacks whilst seeking to operate the business at Maroubra.  He had the
same problem, together with nightmares, whilst working on the Indian Pacific.
He had flashbacks at Boddington Hospital whilst he was working alone.  There
is no reference to the problem during the period at Port Macquarie but he
alleges that he experienced flashbacks at Ballina.  Furthermore, he says that
he reported these matters to Dr Petroff, who has treated him since 1984.  I am
quite satisfied from Dr Petroff's evidence and his notes that no such report
was ever made.  If it had been, it would have been a matter of very
considerable significance to the doctor who, in fact, was of the opinion that
Dingwall was not suffering from PTSD.  In my view, this is a highly
significant matter and, in itself, casts considerable doubt upon the accuracy
and reliability of Dingwall's evidence in relation to these necessary symptoms
of PTSD.

130.  I have already referred to what I regard as another highly significant
piece of evidence: namely, that no report of flashback or nightmare was made
to Dr Greenberg in 1969 and that he, in fact, made a record to the effect that
Dingwall was not suffering from nightmares.

131.  Dr Grainger-Smith, who had Dingwall as a patient after his return from
New Guinea and to whom Dingwall alleges that he reported his Maralinga
problems, including nightmares and flashbacks, is quite specific that, as a
psychiatrist, he would have been interested in such a report and noted it.  He
did not do so.  I found Dingwall's evidence on the topic, which I have set out
above, to be quite unsatisfactory, both in its content and in the manner of
its giving.

132.  Additionally, there is no record in what is an extensive Army medical
file of the reporting of any such problems.  Neither Dr Packham, Dingwall's
general practitioner, neighbour and friend from 1971 to 1977, nor Dr Calnan,
his general practitioner and friend since 1981, have recorded any reference to
any such complaints over the long periods in which they had Dingwall as a

133.  It must be borne in mind that the symptoms under discussion are not mere
errant, unbidden recollections or hazy dreams.  They are emotionally charged
and highly distressing experiences symptomatic of psychiatric disorder.  They
would quite clearly be matters of concern to anyone experiencing them and an
eminently fit subject to be reported to that person's treating medical
practitioner whether general practitioner of psychiatrist.  It is therefore,
in my view, of great significance that, as I have found, no reports were made
of these matters to any medical practitioners until Dingwall was involved in
the series of medical examinations late in 1992, which were held for the
purpose of this case.  Even then, it may be noted, the assertions were not
made to all such practitioners.  They were not made to Dr Barclay, called on
behalf of Dingwall, whose diagnosis was of an anxiety state and not of PTSD.
I find Dingwall's alternating explanations in relation to this topic, that he
either refrained from mentioning these matters to his medical practitioners
because he was in dread of the consequences of breach of the "Secrets Act" or
that he sought to mention them but was met with indifference and
dismissiveness, to be totally unconvincing. The answers had, at the time of
their giving, all the appearance of being convenient to the occasion.  I
consider that they were so and that these explanations are not worthy of

134.  I have not failed to take into account Mrs Dingwall's evidence that,
after returning from Maralinga, Dingwall's sleeping patterns appeared to
alter, in that he became restless in his sleep and at times complained of
nightmares.  If these nightmares were of the type relevant to a diagnosis of
PTSD relating to Maralinga experiences, then I would have expected him to have
said something about the content to Mrs Dingwall.  The suggestion that he
refrained from doing so because of obligations of secrecy, I find to be quite
unacceptable.  It is apparent from her evidence that Dingwall did tell her a
great deal about things at Maralinga.  His statements to her went beyond mere
complaints of the hardships of camp life at Roadside but also included the
descriptions of matters relating to the bomb.  He described an object, thought
to be the bomb, being transported out into the desert to ground zero without,
apparently, experiencing any qualms relating to official secrecy. I cannot
envisage any impediment to his describing the contents of his dreams to his
wife if, in fact, they were a distressing experience and related to the atomic

135.  I have mentioned Dr Petroff's evidence, to the effect that Dingwall's
present condition leads to distorted recollections of past events through the
operations of his depressive mood disorder, particularly his obsession with
Maralinga, and his current belief that he has probably been affected by
radiation.  This condition makes him suggestible and ready to embrace any
material appearing to support his case.  A re-reading of the transcript and a
recollection of the giving of the evidence indicates to me that it is
extremely likely that Dingwall's descriptions of flashback experiences were
coloured by this process.  I note, with appropriate regret, that some
questions asked by myself were leading in form and may have played a part in
producing detailed evidence, which might not otherwise have been given, as to
the content and duration and emotional overtones of alleged flashback

136.  In this context, I should make reference to some of the results of
psychometric testing performed on Dingwall.  It is clear that Dr Bryant
obtained some bizarre results from the administration to Dingwall of the
Minnesota Multiphasic Personal Inventory ("MMPI").  I am satisfied that the
results, if valid, were consistent only with Dingwall's being grossly
psychotically disturbed at the time of the test.  Clearly this was not so.
Results on sub-scales, which were designed to ascertain whether the subject
being tested was "faking bad", were quite positive.  I am driven to the
conclusion that when Dingwall took this test, which was being administered on
behalf of the respondent, he had in mind to produce a result favourable to his
case. I am satisfied that a similar conclusion can be reached in respect of a
test of a similar kind administered by Mr Rees, a psychologist examining on
behalf of Dingwall.

137.  Finally, it must be noted that Dingwall, in giving evidence before the
Administrative Appeals Tribunal in his claim for Commonwealth Compensation for
an anxiety state, made no mention whatever in his evidence, which otherwise
would have covered much of the same ground as the evidence in this case, of
any nightmare or flashback experiences.

138.  Since 1983, Dingwall, through membership of the Maralinga Association
and from the prominence which PTSD has acquired in the media, particularly in
relation to the problems of Vietnam War Veterans, would have had ample
opportunity to become acquainted with these symptoms and their significance.
Moreover, his exposure to the intense round of psychiatric and psychological
examinations which closely preceded the giving of his evidence, could easily
have played a part in impressing upon him the significance of this

139.  I have come to the conclusion that I should not accept his evidence as
to the occurrence of these symptoms essential to a diagnosis of PTSD and must,
accordingly, reject diagnosis based upon them. Accordingly, I reject his case
so far as it is based upon the assertion that he suffered that disorder as a
result of experiences during his service at Maralinga.

Diagnosis of "Anxiety State" and Causal Connection with Maralinga
140.  It is submitted on Dingwall's behalf that, even if PTSD is not
established, he is entitled to a finding that he is currently suffering from a
psychological disorder which may be described, in varying ways, as an anxiety
state and that this condition is causally related to his Maralinga

141.  As already indicated, it is conceded by the respondent that Mr Dingwall
currently suffers from such a psychiatric disorder.

142.  Dr Barclay, an experienced psychiatrist, examined Dingwall on 3
September 1992 and 1 October 1992.  On the basis of the history he then
obtained and by reference to other medical reports together with statements
provided by Mr and Mrs Dingwall (which reports and statements did not refer to
"flashbacks") he diagnosed Dingwall as suffering from generalised anxiety
disorder, panic attacks with agoraphobia, episodic depression and alcohol
abuse.  He expressed the opinion that "these problems flow from Mr Dingwall's
service in the Army and in particular his experiences at Maralinga.  Dr
Barclay summarised the information about Maralinga in the following way:-
      "Mr Dingwall gives a clear story of becoming anxious about
      the effects of the atomic explosions at Maralinga.  There
      was a lot of fear around at the time.  That fear was based
      on a lot of supposition and misinformation, but nonetheless
      it was general and Mr Dingwall suffered from it.  He became
      worried about the development of cancer and of genetic
      mutations that might affect him having children.  He
      developed some moderate anxiety symptoms at that time and
      was increasingly worried with each bomb explosion.  He said
      he had unreasonable feelings of guilt about what was
      happening and he had one week of diarrhoea that was quite
      severe.  His worry continued when he was moved to Duntroon.
      He had a lot of psychological and some physical symptoms of
      anxiety there and he was drinking heavily.  He said that his
      heavy drinking would control his anxiety.  He agreed however
      that he had been drinking more than his normal amount from
      the time he joined the Army."

143.  Dr Barclay, as might be expected, readily conceded that, in seeking a
cause for Dingwall's current psychiatric problems he was very much dependent
upon the accuracy of the history he was given.  In many respects, it would
appear, from the history in the doctor's report, that Dingwall purported to
give far greater detail of Maralinga experiences and problems than he gave in
his sworn evidence.  It must be remembered, also, that by the time he saw Dr
Barclay, 35 years had elapsed from the events of which he sought to provide
information.  He had also been in the care of Dr Petroff as his treating
psychiatrist since 1984 with the result that Dr Petroff, through very
considerable contact with Dingwall, would no doubt have been in a better
position to assess his problems and their causes.  I shall refer to Dr
Petroff's evidence later.

144.  Dr Anthony Dinnen, another experienced psychiatrist, examined Dingwall
and reported on his behalf for the purpose of the AAT proceedings in 1988.  He
diagnosed him as suffering from a chronic anxiety state, a condition which he
said was "equally well described as being a chronic Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder".  He does not appear to have identified any specific external
stressor and, in these circumstances, I think it best to regard his report as
merely supporting a diagnosis of "chronic anxiety state".  In making the
Maralinga link he was, of course, dependent upon the history he was given.
This history was given after Dingwall's "obsession with Maralinga".  The
doctor gave the following account in his report of 15 March 1988:-
      "At interview on the 1st March the patient gave a full and
      intelligent account, but was tense, preoccupied and at times
      appeared to be verging on tears.  His thoughts in the main
      were centred on his experiences during the atomic bomb
      testing at Maralinga, and the experiences of the last few
      years which have resulted from his effort to achieve
      At the outset he told me that he 'was in Maralinga during
      the time they dropped the bombs'.  He had been seeing a
      psychiatrist.  He had been getting sicker and sicker, and
      eventually had been given the invalid pension.  He had
      become increasingly worried through the years because 'all
      the friends I was with (at Maralinga) were dying of cancer'.
      He was in the Army for 13 years, in the catering section,
      but was retired through illness in 1968.
      Three atomic bombs had been exploded at Maralinga in 1957.
      He recalled that when he had joined the Army 'they taught
      us' that radiation caused cancer.  He did not like being at
      the atomic test site.  He resents the fact that senior
      British officials were present, relaxed and frequently with
      cans of beer in their hands, and that for 30 years he has
      been unable to say anything because of the official Secrets
      Act.  He said: 'I just want it all brought out - the lies
      and the cheating - for 30 years I couldn't say anything'.
      He remembered an Aboriginal whom he attempted to clear from
      the area where the bomb was to be exploded.  'I remember
      this fellow with his spear and his wife and his dog and his
      kid - he wouldn't get in the truck - they ran off'.  He had
      been unable to explain to the man what was about to happen.
      When he reported the matter he was told 'never mind'.  He
      presumes that the family were caught in the bomb blast.
      They had to round up Aborigines who knew nothing about what
      was to happen, and he recalls that for days afterwards they
      would be turning up, confused and frightened, and had to be
      hosed down.  He recalls that 'the security was that tight'.
      He has not seen a number of men who disappeared.  He says
      that 'six of our own men committed suicide while we were
      there.  One fellow threw petrol on his tent and jumped in,
      another went under a train'.
      He developed asthma, while in the Army, which he attributes
      to stress.  He developed nervous symptoms, and became
      affected by this about 12 to 14 years ago.  He says that
      four out of 20 men are still alive of the group that were
      required to go out on the 'forward ranges' to bring in
      people to safety.
      The patient said that some years ago 'one day out of the
      blue', he was contacted by Dr. Lloyd who said he was from
      Canberra and who asked him many questions about Maralinga.
      He was told to apply for compensation.  As a result, 'all
      the tooing and froing' has worsened his nervous condition.
      He says that 'it's got to me'.
      He has been aware of being nervous since his experiences at

145.  This passage illustrates the difficulties that exist in relating
Dingwall's present condition to Maralinga experiences in any satisfactory way.
In the first place, the passage indicates a degree of resentment towards the
"senior British officials" which causes concern as to the objective
reliability of any recollection that he gives.  The reference to the "Secrets
Act" and his consequent inability to say anything for 30 years, and his desire
then that it be "all brought out - the lies and the cheating", is troublesome
when considered in the context that he could scarcely have felt inhibited when
giving evidence in his own case, in bringing out any matters which he wished
to rely upon as having caused him anxiety whilst at Maralinga, and yet he
failed to refer to matters which he reported to Dr Dinnen.  The reference to
the Aboriginals is difficult to reconcile with his evidence.  The reference to
Aboriginals turning up for days afterwards confused and frightened, and having
to be hosed down, is not supported by his evidence at all.  The reference to
men disappearing and 6 committing suicide, whilst he was at Maralinga, is
totally unsupported by evidence in the case.  The fact that he could have said
it to Dr Dinnen raises considerable doubt as to the reliability of his
evidence and of the history he has given to doctors.  The reference to the
particular cases of suicide, totally unsupported in the evidence, causes
particular concern.

146.  Similar difficulties, in relation to Dingwall as an historian, emerge
upon a consideration of the history he apparently gave to Dr Dent who
diagnosed Dingwall as suffering from PTSD.  He saw Dingwall on 27 October 1992
for two hours.  He told Dr Dent that he thought he had been sent to Maralinga
for punishment and that "we were living in tents the whole time and there were
other blokes there who were also sent as a punishment".  He gives no evidence
of this at all. He told Dr Dent that after witnessing the first explosion,
"thereafter I would get these nightmares every night I was there and in the
daytime - any red ball and any red colour now will make me anxious and jumpy
(agitated)".  He said that he would "drink and drink to stop this, 10 or 12
schooners a day for 15 years and sometimes vodka".  He said that, if he drank,
he "wouldn't get the nightmares as bad".  He further told the doctor "I used
to get palpitations ever since 1958.  I just became a bundle of nerves - I'd
be as anxious as hell at any explosions thereafter".  In relation to anxiety
at Maralinga he said "when I was looking into the red glow of the cooker (at
Maralinga) that would flash it back, I would feel terrible, tremulous and
shaky", describing the colour red as a stimulus ever since that time and, of
course, "big, loud explosions get to me".

147.  He further told the doctor that, apparently as a continuing symptom, he
even gets agitated with the sound of motors running.  The doctor says in the
report "when we examined this it emerged that at Maralinga all electricity was
with generators and any sound now of a continuous running motor will act as
stimulus to recreate a 'flashback', that is a vivid visual recapitulation of
those events witnessed at Maralinga".

148.  He also told the doctor, in relation to the telephone call from Rear
Admiral Lloyd in 1983, that he started to think "I was being bugged, I thought
this Dr Lloyd ... I thought I was being followed or photographed, about things
I might have known but they thought I didn't know, I was worried what I might
have said and that I could have been shot, I was too frightened to even tell
my wife".  He also said, apparently in relation to the same phone call, "I
thought he said he was from the Health Department, he suggested I put in for
compensation - I have no idea of why he rang me - that's when all the thoughts
and fears started to really get to me".

149.  He gave no evidence of these matters in the case.  Again this must cast
doubt upon his reliability as a witness or historian. Inevitably, one must
contrast his reference to avoiding explosions after Maralinga with the fact
that he transferred to the training battalion at Ingleburn as a weapons
instructor only 6 months after finishing his duty at Maralinga.  He had to
qualify as a weapons instructor before undertaking this work, which would
necessarily have involved him in operating fire arms and being in proximity to
them when they were discharged.  According to his records, he followed this
occupation for more than 18 months.  One can only remark that this appears to
be totally inconsistent with the claim made to Dr Dent, in 1992, that he was a
bundle of nerves after Maralinga and could not tolerate explosions.  Indeed,
during the year of his transfer to Ingleburn, he re-enlisted in the Army for a
further 3 years.

150.  He gives no evidence whatever of phobic reactions to running motors.
The prospect of this information having been given to Dr Dent as a result of
Dingwall's suggestibility cannot be discounted. Moreover, in relation to the
phobic and avoiding reactions of things coloured red after Maralinga, one is
inevitably driven to consider the fact that in 1972 he was active in assisting
the evacuation of patients from Boddington Hospital when it was being
threatened by the approach of serious bushfires.  If he was in the grip of a
perpetual anxiety state, based upon a psychiatric nervous reaction to
explosion and fire, one would surely have expected some form of phobic or
avoidant breakdown in the face of this situation.  On the contrary, he appears
to have had symptoms resulting from the physical exertions involved.  There is
certainly no indication of serious psychiatric breakdown.  It must also be
remembered that he was under the care of a doctor, who was a friend at this
period, for a variety of physical matters and one would have expected any form
of serious ongoing psychiatric disturbance to have been observed.

151.  One can, indeed, detect no indication of any significant psychiatric
disturbance during the period that Dingwall resided in the Blue Mountains and
was in fairly constant employment.  There is no medical evidence to suggest
it.  He does not really give evidence of it himself, although in his history
to doctors at the end of 1992, he paints some picture of nervous disorder.  I
can, of course, only have regard to the evidence he gives before me.  It does
not support any significant active nervous disorder at this time.  Indeed,
Dingwall was undergoing periodic reviews for the purpose of his DFRDB pension.
In this period, his condition was noted as being stationary and his pension
maintained at the same level.  During the period of residence at Port
Macquarie he was examined for the purpose of the DFRDB on 20 June 1980. Prior
to this examination, on 11 April 1980, Dingwall had completed and forwarded a
prescribed form of personal statement in which he described his medical
condition and symptoms as follows:-
      "Asthma - unable to cope with any stress, high blood
      pressure - giddiness, poor co-ordination, bad memory,
      intense irritability and bouts of depression (caused no
      doubt by many failures to obtain employment at interviews) -
      medical history and age barrier - no government jobs
      possibly owing to medical history."
(There was also reference to cholesterol problems and the necessity for a
strict diet and blood tests.)

152.  Dingwall was examined by the Commonwealth Medical Officer at Port
Macquarie, Dr Sork, who, amongst other matters, reported as follows:-
      "Appearance suggests depressive state - mild generalised
      tremor ... Depressive state increasing - resents present
      unemployment - marital discord."

153.  Dr Sork further reported that:-
      "This man's depression is now complicated by resentment at
      employment situation - admits attitude to wife is causing
      marital discord in turn aggravating mental attitude.  I feel
      that his depression, resentment and feeling of inadequacy
      will increase with duration of unemployment."

154.  It also appears that, in evidence before the Administrative Appeals
Tribunal, his depression in this period was attributed to disappointment in
relation to employment.

155.  It must be noted that no complaint appears to have been made about
anxiety symptoms relating to recollections of Maralinga or concerns as to
events occurring during his period of service there.

156.  After the move to Ballina in October 1980, as already indicated,
Dingwall came under the care of Dr Calnan, who assisted him in his application
for an invalid pension.

157.  I can see no indication of anything in the evidence, including the
medical records tendered, which would indicate any assertion on the part of
Dingwall, or any consequent investigation by medical practitioners, as to an
anxiety or depressive state related to service at Maralinga, as opposed to a
reaction to his current situation of physical disability and unemployment.  It
should be noted that he had suffered very considerable back trouble and this
featured largely in his application for an invalid pension.  This would no
doubt have contributed to his emotional state.

158.  It simply cannot be ignored that no attribution of his problems to
Maralinga occurred before he received the health questionnaire in October 1982
and had the telephone conversation with Dr Lloyd in April 1983.  In July 1983
he lodged the Compensation Application, to which reference has already been
made, in which he attributed all his woes, including his depression, to
service at Maralinga.  I cannot but regard this as the outward manifestation
of an obsession about Maralinga, which seems to have taken over his life from
that point of time.  As already indicated, his psychiatric condition
deteriorated to the point that Dr Calnan referred him to Dr Petroff for
psychiatric help on 6 June 1984.  In a report written in 1987, Dr Calnan
referred to this matter saying that "he has been treated by Dr I Petroff for
his severe anxiety state and depression revolving around his fears about
Maralinga ... His anxiety-depression related to his obsession about

159.  As Dr Petroff has been the treating psychiatrist since that time, his
evidence must, in my view, be accorded considerable weight.

160.  In his report of 24 October 1984 Dr Petroff made the following
      "Mr. Dingwall complained of 'nerves starting to go five
      years ago'.  He claims that he was becoming increasingly
      irritable, couldn't take a joke, and was bordering on being
      violent.  He describes himself as being uptight and being
      pre-occupied that he had something seriously wrong with him.
      He reported that the way he felt was interfering with his
      marital relationship in that he was fighting with his wife
      over nothing, became morbid which upset the wife and she
      found it hard to take.  He complained of waking at 2.00am
      and having a bad night every night even though only
      occasionally he would have a nightmare.  With his activities
      he tended to get bored very quickly, and found it hard to
      settle.  He described having to do things in a rush or else
      he would lose interest.  The patient does relax fishing
      which he does three or four times a week, as well as
      gardening and running an aviary.
      The setting is of a man who claimed that at Maralinga he was
      in charge of the food section and was exposed to atomic
      radiation.  Sixteen years ago in 1968, he developed asthma
      and was thoroughly investigated in an Army Hospital at
      Ingleburn.  He was discharged from the Army as medically
      unfit in 1970.  He subsequently found that his Hospital
      notes were missing from Maralinga and again from Concord and
      this, together with Government officials phoning him up from
      Canberra about his experiences at Maralinga, as well as
      rumours flying around that most of the people with whom he
      had worked were now dead, have all contributed to his
      pre-occupations and made him suspicious of his own future.  The
      knowledge that his father died at the age of 52 and that his
      brother also died of cancer at the age of 52, have tended to
      worry him as he approached that age.  The recent news
      surrounding the atomic testing at Maralinga have fascinated
      him and the thought of starring in an Inquiry and going down
      as a martyr has appealed to him, considering that at this
      point of time he was leading a fairly dull and unimportant
      existence.  The patient is taking  1/2 of 30mg. Tablet of
      Serapax at night.
      On examination Mr. Dingwall was a large man who was
      particular about his appearance.  The patient did look
      tremulous and anxious, and was at pains to control and hide
      his anxiety.  The patient did not lack insight and on the
      one hand realised that the more he dwelt on his symptoms,
      read and heard about the atomic tests, the more crippled he
      was becoming, yet on the other hand he found it hard to get
      on with the job of enjoying himself in his retirement
      particularly for a person who had been a fairly big 'wheel'
      with Qantas and was now facing anonymity in retirement.
      There was a large element of wanting to star in a big
      Inquiry and going down as a martyr.
      This man suffers from an anxiety state with symptoms of
      moderate severity.  His presence at Maralinga at the time of
      the atomic tests, the apparent cover up and the loss of his
      Hospital notes, inquiries by Government officials into his
      experiences at Maralinga, learning that 50 to 70 people who
      were there are now dead from cancer, the recent Inquiry, and
      of course, being under-occupied, have all contributed to his
      anxiety state."

161.  Dr Petroff had reported in similar vein to Dr Calnan on 23 July 1984.
He included the observation that "I am not an expert on radiation sickness but
it seems fairly certain that his experience at Maralinga did not produce that
but we can be equally certain that Maralinga did give him a roaring anxiety

162.  This is a significant observation but it is necessary to evaluate it in
the context of the whole of Dr Petroff's evidence.  Dr Petroff also answered a
questionnaire provided to him by the Commonwealth Employees' Compensation
Authorities.  The questions and answers read as follows:-
    "1    From what mental condition, if any, did/does Mr Dingwall
      Anxiety State with symptoms of moderate severity against a
      background of narcissistic personality.
    2     Are the conditions of irritability, moodiness, loss of
      memory and concentration, bouts of hyperactivity and bouts
      of lethargy elements of the overall psychiatric condition
      (if any) suffered by Mr Dingwall?
    3     If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, that is,
      if Mr Dingwall did/does suffer from a mental condition,
      would he still have suffered from that condition had he not
      worked at Maralinga?
    4     If yes, would his work in the service in general have
      contributed to his condition?
    5     Did his work (a) at Maralinga and (b) in the Defence Force
      generally, contribute to, magnify or aggravate any
      underlying condition or pre-existing personality disorder?
    6     (a)  Does Mr Dingwall fear development of other illnesses through
      his involvement with Maralinga?
      (b)  Is that fear causing or contributing to his mental condition?
      (c)  Has this fear arisen solely because of the publicity
      surrounding Maralinga (and the belief that his conditions are
      therefore compensable)?
      (a)   YES.
      (b)   YES
    7     What work restrictions would you impose solely as a result
      of the mental condition suffered by Mr Dingwall?
    8     What treatment is recommended?

163.  Again, it is necessary to evaluate these observations in light of the
whole of Dr Petroff's evidence.

164.  On 30 November 1992 Dr Petroff reported to Dingwall's solicitors in the
following terms:-
      "Thank you for your letter dated 23rd November, 1992 about
      Wesley Dingwall and for your continued interest in this
      likeable but unfortunate man.
      I have perused the reports of other experts but
      unfortunately cannot improve on my report dated the 24th
      October, 1984.
      As regards your specific requests I can only make the
      following observations.  In recent years the fight with the
      Commonwealth Government has been the main focus of Wesley's
      life and while it has given him structure and meaning it has
      also been his greatest source of stress and anxiety and a
      noxious influence on his life.  It is untrue and unkind to
      state that Wesley is after the money and more accurately is
      obsessed with 'getting the bastards' and himself starring in
      the process.  My major concern all along has been the
      unhealthy aspect of this preoccupation and hence my attempts
      to dissuade him from embarking on the litigation process.
      This would explain a lot of my comments that you draw my
      attention to and also my frustration with Wesley's
      persistence with the course of action.
      Mr. Dingwall's clinical progress fluctuated and this was
      largely influenced by the progress in the litigation process
      and how many doctors he had to see etc. etc.
      Mr. Dingwall is a most pleasant and intelligent man who
      however has a great ability to distort things.  My comment
      'one fantastic story after another' refers to the time when
      a group of Chinese were lost in the north west of Australia
      and Wesley told me that they had eaten each other.
      In an effort to preserve my relationship with this most
      deserving patient I often used my notes for the purpose of
      catharsis rather than expose him to a destructive

165.  The comments and notes to which the doctor refers are brief notes made
by him during his treatment of Dingwall.  On occasions these notes record the
doctor's irritation at the litigious course being persisted in by Dingwall.
The notes which are in evidence do tend to illustrate a mounting obsession on
the part of Dingwall with Maralinga and litigation as the years went by.

166.  It is quite clear that Dr Petroff regarded Dingwall as suffering from an
anxiety state when he first examined him.  Apart from what he was told by way
of history, he was able to observe necessary physiological symptoms indicating
the presence of active anxiety.  He was not merely expressing concern about
things in the past, he was clearly experiencing disabling anxiety to a degree
which led to the diagnosis of a psychiatric condition requiring treatment.  Dr
Petroff did not budge from his diagnosis in the course of his lengthy oral
evidence, although it is plain that he was unaware that, at the time when
Dingwall first saw him, he had already embarked upon litigation in which he
was claiming that he had suffered permanent psychological harm at Maralinga.
It must be remembered, also, that the respondent does not dispute that
Dingwall suffers from a genuine psychiatric disorder.  The extent to which, if
at all, Dr Petroff attributes Dingwall's present state to any experiences
suffered at Maralinga is not entirely easy to determine.  It is necessary to
set out certain passages from his evidence.

167.  In his evidence in chief he was asked the following questions and gave
the following answers:-
    "MR WILKINS: Doctor, you have diagnosed him in the first two of those
    documents as suffering from an anxiety state.  Can you give some example
    of how that anxiety state started and how it continued?---What I thought
    the origin of it was?
    Yes?---All right.  I though that he - from the history that I obtained
    from Wesley at that time it appeared that he has not been well for
    something - since 68, since essentially leaving the Army and his anxiety
    symptoms really started at the time that he completely retired from work
    and obtained an invalid pension and that he became hypochondriacal, he
    developed a wide variety of neurotic symptoms, one of the predominant
    ones was hypochondriasis where he thought he had cancer and had
    investigations and started to dwell and think about the Maralinga days
    and what foolish things he exposed himself - how he foolishly had
    exposed himself to this, that and the other; how he developed panic
    attacks, he became a bit agoraphobic, he tended to become depressed and
    from - then there was a series of finding out that his notes had been
    lost, that so many people had died and all the atmosphere of the
    hysteria of Maralinga started to pop up and I think exaggerated his
    state.  He was convinced he was going to die, his father died, his
    brother died at the age of 52.  So all these factors added to produce an
    anxiety state with symptoms of at least moderate severity.
    Doctor, when you first saw him or in the two years after that did he
    give you any history of suffering symptoms of anxiety or depression
    while he was still in the Army?---No.
    Would you be assisted if you were told that on various occasions,
    starting in 1958 and going on through 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1966 he was
    hospitalised for such symptoms?---That may be so, yes.
    Would that help you in coming to a conclusion that his symptoms started
    at least at some time in the Army or do you think that they were self-
    limiting episodes?---I don't think you need them, you could view them as
    a feature of his personality or a feature of his vulnerability and maybe
    nothing to do with necessarily Maralinga itself.  It could be, of
    course, be part of Maralinga - that's what is smouldering there - and
    completely emerges on his retirement."

168.  The doctor gave, as an example of this "smouldering", the case of a
Vietnam veteran who developed a catastrophic panic attack when something in
his family life reminded him dramatically of a Vietnam incident of which he
was deeply ashamed and which he had succeeded in repressing from

169.  Dr Petroff expressed the view that Dingwall "just got caught up in the
atmosphere and hysteria of litigation".  He said "here is a guy who sees me in
'84, gradually gets better and then from '87 onwards he starts getting worse;
he won't listen to what I tell him; who pursues the Holy Grail of litigation
and so on, rather than abandoning it".  The doctor was asked whether he saw
Dingwall as being motivated by financial gain or some other secondary gain
involved in his interest in the litigation.  The doctor replied:-
    "Right.  I think revenge is - of that aspect of his condition I think
    revenge is probably the major one, right, that he's been mucked around
    by the bastards, and so on, right, who phoned him up and upset him and
    withheld information from him and his whole life has just been on hold.
    He can't even go to his mother's funeral of something because there
    might be an important phone call come.  Can't go opal mining, or
    fossicking and so on, you know.  He's - and the further it went on the
    further trapped and the further he realised that what I was saying might
    have been right and he's taken the foolish option of going for it."

170.  The doctor, when asked about Dingwall's apparent conviction that the
hospital notes, relating to his admission to the Maralinga Hospital, had been
removed or destroyed, said that there was "a touch of paranoia" about that,
not a psychotic manifestation but a product of anxiety which would diminish as
the anxiety itself decreased.

171.  When asked about the 1970 episode, when Dingwall was hospitalised by Dr
Ellard, he indicated that he had not been previously made aware of that
episode by Dingwall or anybody else.  When asked what significance he attached
to it, he said "well, you can either take it as a symptom of this sort of
vulnerability of his personality or else that it's some sort of hangover from
Maralinga".  He said that he preferred the former view.  Dr Petroff was asked
whether, in his view, Dingwall had a drinking problem.  He said that he did
not have one now, but that he was claiming that he was drinking more than he
in fact was.  This was confirmed by a liver function test.  The reason for
this exaggerated claim was that Dingwall was "really getting into the invalid
role" after 1987.  In relation to the "invalid role" he gave the following
    "HIS HONOUR: What, look what has happened to me, I have been turned
    into a drinker?---Exactly.
    That sort of thing?---Yes.  There is no doubt in my mind that the guy
    had a genuine anxiety state pure and simple as a result of whatever
    happened that sort of brought back those memories of his foolishness
    during Maralinga days and that would have been from 79 till 84, till 86
    or so.  I think after that the theatre took over, the whole atmosphere
    and litigation and that's coloured and there's been an exaggeration of
    symptoms and so on."

172.  In relation to the "Maralinga hysteria", the doctor advanced the opinion
that Dingwall had "split off", a psychiatric term meaning "just gone off on a
tangent, dissociated, exaggerated to the nth degree".

"Personality Disorder"
173.  The doctor expressed the view that Dingwall had "a personality
disorder".  When asked to define this psychiatric term he gave the following
    "Well, we know what ugliness is, right, in terms of physical things,
    and I'm sure if you had a statistician he could measure somebody's nose
    and something that is to standard deviation in length away from the mean
    one way or the other, so you have got no nose at all or a huge nose.
    People will sort of look at you and say you're ugly.  It's much harder in
    psychiatry but you've still got things like aggression or pacivity or
    obsessionals - somebody who's pedantic and correct and so on - so
    constipated they can't get anything done.  So that it refers again -
    it's very hard to measure and you've just got to do it by the seat of
    your pants to make an assessment of these distortions of these features.
    So, somebody might be so dependent as to be inadequate, he's so keen to
    please everybody that he's got no integrity at all.  Or somebody is so
    independent that it doesn't - he's a psychopath, he gives no caring for
    anybody - right.  So, that's - a personality disorder is a distortion of
    one's underlying characteristics - of various features - right.
    HIS HONOUR: Well, is really no more than a descriptive label - - -?---
    It's a descriptive label.
    - - - of a complex of symptoms and signs - - -?---That's right.
    - - - you observe?---That's right, its a description of a trait.
    Wesley's would be his propensity to conveniently take notice or
    conveniently ignore.  Okay?  So that exclude all evidence to the
    contrary or include all evidence to whatever he is, so he tends to split
    of, he tends to dissociate, which is just convenient forgetting or
    convenient remembering as it were."

174.  The doctor went on to say that such a diagnosis meant "that the problem
has been there for many years...and it's been probably from birth...plus early
childhood experiences rather than other traumatic events and so on".  He made
it clear that "a personality disorder" involved a genetic problem influencing
personality development, with a further contribution from "early rearing
experiences".  In this regard, I asked him the following question and received
the following answer:-
    "What happens, what does that mean in terms of cause and effect
    situations in later life?  Well, putting it this way, in terms of this
    case if I were to accept that he had unfortunate experiences at
    Maralinga, would they be experiences that would operate upon a
    personality which was vulnerable because it had some genetic defects?---
    That's right.  His tendency to conveniently include or conveniently
    exclude certain factors would make him vulnerable so that he would only
    see - I mean, when he was swanning around serving drinks to the officers
    he would have conveniently forgot all the dangers, etcetera, etcetera,
    and 20 or whatever - how many years down the track he would conveniently
    forget all the other bits and remember all the - it would flash back to
    him all his stupidity and all of how he exposed himself to danger."

175.  Later, the doctor said in relation to Dingwall's "personality
    "...whether Wesley has a personality disorder - I mean I'd probably
    retract that now and see it that he's got some unfortunate personality
    traits.  Whether it actually, you know, adds up to a real disorder, you
    know, I don't think he's that sort of ugly as it were in psychological
    terms to justify a - - -
    MR McCARTHY: A what?---A firm diagnosis of personality disorder.  I mean
    he's a bit narcissistic and he's got some traits, right.  They'd be just
    - I'm going half-way.
    Well, what traits are you talking about, Doctor?---This propensity to be
    a bit histrionic, this propensity to dissociate, to split off, to
    conveniently forget or conveniently remember."

176.  Dr Petroff remained in no doubt that Dingwall, when first seen by him,
had a genuine anxiety state which "was really brought on by becoming less
active, being retired and bringing back memories of the Maralinga experience".
He said "that seemed to disincubate...he started to dwell and think about the
foolishness of how he had exposed himself in the past...he was genuinely
convinced he was going to die...or develop cancer as a result and that this
was related to his Maralinga experiences".  The doctor further said that this
was "maximised by all the other unfortunate things that started to then
happen: a phone call from Dr Lloyd... and a few other things, finding out that
other people were dying and his notes missing, etcetera.  He became convinced.
I mean, he just really split off and distorted things and believed that there
was a giant conspiracy, that he was about to die".

177.  He gave further evidence of the "narcissistic" problems in Dingwall's
personality, which he agreed was well established before he saw him.

178.  The doctor went on to say that there was "no way I would have seen him
in '84 had it not been for Maralinga and the link that he made".  So far as
the 1969 incident involving Dr Greenberg, and the 1970 incident involving Drs
Lonie and Ellard, he said of the then diagnosis of personality disorder "yes,
that is the way I take it.  I mean, some might argue and say this is just a
continuation of Maralinga, I don't think so, I think that it is his underlying
personality and he develops an anxiety state in certain situations ...
employment setbacks, whatever".  He said that that would be so "regardless of
whether he is at Maralinga or not".  The doctor later said of the incident in
which Dr Ellard had been involved that it was "consistent with him having a
neurotic complaint in reaction to the stress of unemployment in a personality
disorder individual".

179.  So far as the analysis in terms of "personality disorder" is concerned I
consider that, in what is lengthy and difficult evidence, the following
passage best indicates the true view of the doctor:-
    "After he got the pension.  He got the pension and he was - he started
    to get pre-occupied, his life wasn't structured and he just went mad, he
    started to dwell on all sorts of things, coincidentally his father died,
    all those other factors started to come so that it was in a setting of
    being underactive, having time to dwell on these that he lost it.
    MR McCARTHY: Certainly.  But as well, that was - you are saying that
    about an individual who had well-established personality traits at that
    time?---Well, it's those sort of personality traits that would make him
    draw those associations, if he didn't have those personality traits he
    wouldn't have jumped to those sort of conclusions.
    That is right.  But - - -?---He would have just gone to a GP, had a
    blood check and said no, you're okay, go.
    But those conclusions that you refer to are a product of the sort of
    person he was?---That's right.
    The personality traits that he had?---Yes.  That's what I believe.
    And those personality traits and those matters are not related to him as
    a person?---Yes.
    Not to what happened to him at Maralinga?---That's what I believe, yes."
(It is accepted that the word "not" in the second last question did not form
part of it and the question was answered as though it was not there.)

180.  It also appears that the doctor regarded Dingwall's personality traits
as being those of an "hysteric" and that he was reacting as an hysteric, to
his conduct at Maralinga and to the publicity about Maralinga and that it was
in that context that he was providing information to the doctor about
Maralinga.  That information was "radiation oriented", relating to the way he
had behaved at Maralinga: linking "the absence of sufficient information and
protection against radiation" in the context of the belief that "he had
something wrong with him".  As I have previously indicated, Dingwall averred
that he considered that he was radiation affected or at least was not
convinced that this was not the position.

181.  I have set out passages from Dr Petroff's evidence at length because,
and I mean him no disrespect when I say this, I found it difficult to be
confident, at times, that I was fully grasping his meaning.  It became
apparent, early in his evidence, that the statement made in his report to Dr
Calnan, to the effect that Maralinga had given Dingwall "a roaring anxiety
state", was a view the true meaning of which required considerable
exploration.  I have come to the conclusion that what Dr Petroff was conveying
was an opinion that Dingwall undoubtedly was suffering from psychiatric
anxiety and that the ideational content or the subject matter of that anxiety
was a belief that he had suffered radiation damage at Maralinga.  This belief
was part of a distorted picture that he held that he had (a) been permitted to
take unacceptable risks of exposure to radiation and that (b) he had been
insufficiently warned or protected in relation to such risks and that (c) a
conspiracy existed whereby he had been denied information about those risks
and their effect upon him and that (d) records in relation to his true
situation had been withheld or destroyed.

182.  Obviously, anxieties about these matters, persisted in to the point or
neurotic disorder, could not have existed had Dingwall not been at Maralinga
during the Antler tests.  So viewed, Maralinga had given Dingwall an anxiety
state.  However, I am satisfied that what the doctor was not conveying, in his
opinion to Dr Calnan or in his evidence in this case, was that, on the history
which he accepted, Dingwall had undergone experiences at Maralinga which, in
themselves, produced an ongoing psychiatric disorder which, thereafter,
manifested itself from time to time in clinical anxiety or depression.
Importantly, in my view, he did not regard the 1969 and 1970 episodes, despite
their relative proximity to Maralinga, as being Maralinga-caused.  Although he
mentioned the possibility of some "smouldering" problem relating to Maralinga,
he obviously did not see these episodes as being some sort of a flair up of an
ongoing psychiatric disorder.  They were the neurotic response of a
personality with some problems traits of a narcissistic, histrionic nature to
a situation which had become intolerable to that personality.  Although the
doctor did not go into this question in great detail, it is obvious that
Dingwall reacted adversely to the loss of security he had previously enjoyed
in the Army, his inability to manage the business and what he saw as
insubordination from an adult son. Dingwall's disordered reaction was
explicable without recourse to anything occurring at Maralinga.  Indeed,
except in evidence which I have rejected, he has not sought to incriminate
Maralinga in relation to these matters.

183.  I have come to the conclusion that Dr Petroff's evidence fundamentally
supports a view that Dingwall had certain personality traits, not necessarily,
in themselves, amounting to a frank personality disorder, which made him
vulnerable to setbacks in life which others, of different constitution, could
surmount without serious difficulty.  In his case, however, serious anxiety
and depression can be precipitated. These mal-adaptive states would not be
ongoing unless supervening matters produced them.  Dingwall had had
experiences at Maralinga which caused him some concern, even anxiety.  This
was all in the past.  What caused the anxiety state, for which the doctor has
been treating him for many years, was not those experiences as such but an
anxiety reaction, in the first place, to unemployment which was added to by
brooding over recollections of Maralinga, a state of mind largely induced by
publicity about the tests, and information as to some persons having died from
radiation-induced illnesses.  These concerns were converted into an anxiety
state by receipt of the questionnaire and the follow-up phone call from Dr

184.  This appraisal would mean that Dr Petroff's evidence is somewhat at
variance with that of Drs Shand, Champion and Bryant, each of whom appear to
attribute Dingwall's condition simply to the inevitable unfolding of a
genetically determined personality disorder. These doctors did not have the
advantage of seeing and treating Dingwall over a long period of time.  I have
come to the conclusion that I should prefer Dr Petroff's analysis.

185.  What I accept to be Dr Petroff's analysis is also at variance with that
of Drs Barclay and Dinnen, neither of whose opinions are lightly to be
dismissed.  Both of these eminent practitioners espouse the view that, on the
history given to them, Dingwall, through traumatic experiences suffered at
Maralinga, incurred an anxiety disorder which has "smouldered", with
occasional flair-ups such as shown in his Army medical records and in the
episodes of 1969 and 1970 reported on by Drs Greenberg, Lonie and Ellard.  The
flair-ups became a major conflagration in the 1980s with the advent of the
Maralinga publicity and the specific inquiries made to him by the authorities.
It was, however, the one Maralinga-induced disorder all the time, the root
cause being fear that he had suffered radiation damage which would bring major
problems in the future.

Conclusions on Causation
186.  I have the not uncommon but none-the-less, invidious task of reaching a
conclusion in a situation where the evidence of witnesses of equal eminence is
in conflict.  On a full consideration of the whole of the evidence, I have
come to the following conclusions on the question of causation.  The evidence
of Mrs Dingwall satisfies me that she observed some changes in her husband
during and after his tour of duty at Maralinga.  He was nervy and moody,
whereas he had not previously been so.  Clearly he did not wish to go to
Maralinga.  I got the impression that he resented being sent there.  This was
something I sensed from the giving of his evidence, rather than from any
specific material that he put forward.  However, he had told some of the
examining doctors that he felt that he was being sent there unjustly, as a
form of punishment, relating to some problem with canteen finances. This
matter was not explored, as I have said, in evidence before me, but he clearly
had advanced this as a reason for his being sent to the tests.  He obviously
resented having to live in the conditions prevailing at Maralinga.  He lived
in a tent city whereas others were more comfortably housed at Maralinga
village.  He complained of heat, flies and dust to his wife.  He described the
living conditions as "hell on earth".  He obviously drank to excess which, I
am satisfied, was, to an extent a continuation of a pattern already
established after he joined the Army and was living away from home.  I do not
consider that he had a "personality disorder" of a frank or florid kind which
would have been evident before he joined the Army.  He joined the Army for
security.  Obviously it would have been a way of life totally different from
anything he had previously experienced.  There would necessarily have been
some stresses and strains involved in this alone.  Maralinga and its
conditions could well have been a blow to him, having regard to the fact, as I
find, that he had narcissistic personality traits which would have led him to
ask the question "why is this happening to me?".

187.  There is nothing in his evidence to indicate that he suffered any severe
psychic shock by being amongst those witnessing the blasts.  He was not
terrified by them.  His real concerns, as they appear to have unfolded over
the years, relate to the dust blowing around the area which he appears to have
come to regard as having been potentially radioactive.  I am satisfied that he
took the precaution of washing himself, although not to the extent he claims.
I consider that, from time to time, aided by camp gossip, he experienced some
concern that he might have been exposed to radiation.  I am quite satisfied,
however, that these concerns were just that; they did not amount to agitation
or disabling anxiety.  I am not persuaded that his hospitalisation in
Maralinga related to any psychological reaction occasioned by blast or dust.
In fact, he does not say that it was.

188.  The same comment may be made in relation to the entries in his medical
records speaking of anxiety or anxiety states.  I have no evidence that these
had any Maralinga content whatsoever.  I am quite unable to attribute to them
the significance that Drs Barclay and Dinnen give them.  A similar comment
applies to the episodes of anxiety after leaving the Army.  They can
reasonably be attributed to a rigid personality meeting an intolerable life
situation.  This conclusion is, of course, aided by the fact that no
attribution to Maralinga was made at the time.

189.  In my view, Dingwall took with him from Maralinga some concerns about
radiation which were of no great moment.  More significant concerns were
generated by reports, accurate or inaccurate, that personnel at Maralinga were
contracting cancer.  These concerns were obviously greatly magnified in the
1980s, to the extent, that he began to ask himself "when is my turn coming?".
In this context he developed the anxiety state diagnosed and described by Dr
Petroff.  It must be noted, however, that he gives no evidence of having been
consumed with anxiety about radiation damage after leaving Maralinga nor even
that it was a recurrent severe irritant which he needed to force from his mind
in order to cope with day to day living.  He makes no such claim in his
evidence and, quite obviously, made no such claim to the medical practitioners
who were examining him on a quite regular basis in relation to his pension

190.  I am not unmindful of some of the scientific evidence placed before me
to the effect that the insidious nature of radiation damage, its invisibility,
and the uncertainty which attends its future onset can be productive of
psychological problems in circumstances where mere exposure to an explosion
may not.  However, these studies relate to situations where there is a clear
and acknowledged risk that radiation exposure has occurred and the victims are
in the unenviable position of waiting, over what could be considerable periods
of time, to see if harm has occurred.  In the present case, although I am
satisfied that Dingwall has come to believe that he has probably suffered
radiation damage, there is no evidence to justify this belief and, indeed, his
case, as presented, disclaims the possibility of any such damage.  On the
evidence, I can find no more than that he experienced some worries about
radiation, which were of an ordinary kind, and which did not partake of
psychological disturbance.  I am fortified in this view by general evidence
given to this effect by Dr Ellard, who clearly distinguished natural
apprehension about the dangers of radiation from a state of clinical anxiety
relating to them.  I am not persuaded that Dingwall suffered any clinical
anxiety as a result of experiences at Maralinga.

191.  In these circumstances, whatever possibilities may lurk in the difficult
evidence of this case, I am unable to find that Dingwall more probably than
not suffered psychological harm as a result of experiences inflicted upon him
at Maralinga.  His case must, therefore, necessarily fail.

192.  This finding renders unnecessary any decision of the equally difficult
questions involved in the claim that the respondent failed in its duty of care
to Dingwall.  A considerable amount of evidence was directed to this question
particularly in the area of foreseeability of risk of psychiatric harm from
the perspective of 1957.  Quite clearly the respondent would have been aware
of the propensity of soldiers to suffer psychological harm in battle
conditions.  As the evidence emphasised, it was well-known that service
personnel suffered what was described as "shell shock" in World War I and "war
neurosis" or "combat fatigue" in World War II.  Information from the Korean
War and from the results of the atomic bombing of Japan was also available.
There was also material from the atomic tests conducted in the United States
and elsewhere after the second World War.  Indeed, some of this material
related to service personnel who could properly be described as having been
used as "guinea pigs" to test the reaction of highly trained infantry to
exposure to atomic warfare.  It was argued on behalf of Dingwall that the
existence of this material would have been sufficient, in 1957, to raise the
possibility of foreseeable psychiatric harm to personnel exposed to the atomic
testing in the Antler series at Maralinga.  I think it undesirable that I make
any definitive findings on this general topic, as the evidence may, of course,
differ from case to case.

193.  It is appropriate, however, that I indicate that, in my view, Dingwall
would have faced considerable difficulty in relation to this issue.  The
previously available information, in 1957, clearly enough related to the
psychological impact upon service personnel of battle conditions.  These
conditions necessarily carry with them all the trauma of the uncertain and the
unexpected.  In battle nothing is structured or predictable.  Surprise and
shock is an incident of warfare.  There is, accordingly, a clear distinction
between situations to which the respondent would necessarily have had regard
and the situation at Maralinga where the testing was undertaken under
controlled conditions.  These controls, so far as the evidence of this case
indicates, would have removed from the bomb blasts the elements of the
uncertain and the unexpected present in the wartime situation.  The structured
situation of the large group of service personnel and scientists gathered at a
sufficiently safe distance from the ground zero to await the explosion, in
accordance with a preordained countdown procedure, was vastly different from
warfare.  One can only acknowledge the strength of the argument that the Army
authorities, in the absence of any indication to the contrary, would not
reasonably have been expected to foresee that the witnessing of the explosion
would bring about psychological breakdown in trained Army personnel then, let
alone at some point well into the future.

194.  What is to be said as to the foreseeability of psychologically
destructive fear engendered by subsequent exposure to dust?  The evidence in
this case indicates, with clarity, that an elaborate set of precautions was
put in place to deal with harm which might be occasioned to personnel actually
exposed to dangerous dust. Undoubtedly, as appears from the evidence of
Professor Moroney, trained personnel were required to go into areas where
radioactivity was expected to exist, for the purpose of measuring levels of
that radioactivity, and for other purposes associated with the test
procedures.  Such personnel were required to follow elaborate safety
procedures put in place and administered by personnel known as the Health
Physics group.  The procedure has been fully described by Professor Moroney.
There is no need to set it out here as this is not a case in which exposure to
radiation is alleged.  Dingwall was employed as a mess steward.  His duties
were not intended to take him into radioactive areas.  He was not required to
wear protective clothing or undergo decontamination procedures.  It is not
suggested that the dust, to which he was from time to time exposed, was
radioactive nor, in my view, has anything been proved in this case which
should have caused those in authority to contemplate that personnel not going
into designated radioactive areas might, nevertheless, be subject to erroneous
perceptions that the dust encountered outside these areas might be dangerous
to them.

195.  In short, I would have had great difficulty, on the material before me,
in reaching the conclusion that the respondent should reasonably have foreseen
a risk of psychological harm to a service man performing the duties required
of Dingwall.

196.  Considerable difficulty would also have been encountered in achieving a
favourable outcome on what is generally described as the "preventability"
issue.  I do not need to go into this and I refrain from doing so.

197.  I do not consider, also, that it is desirable that, in these
proceedings, I enter upon a consideration as to whether Dingwall's claim, as
it was ultimately formulated, would necessarily have failed as not coming
within the concept of a claim for "nervous shock" within the meaning of
principles enunciated in Jaensch v Coffey (1984) 155 CLR 549 (see also Alcock
v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police (1992) 1 AC 310; Chiaverini v
Hockey and Anor 1993 ATR 81-223).  It was submitted on behalf of Dingwall
that, should the case ultimately depend upon a finding of psychological harm,
based upon fear generated by regular exposure to dust perceived to be
radioactive, then, notwithstanding that individual "shocks" could not be
established, nevertheless recovery would be permissible either because the
concept of "nervous shock" could rationally be extended to cover such a case,
or the case was distinguishable from Jaensch on the basis that the restricted
view of "nervous shock" therein expounded was appropriate only in cases where
harm to a claimant was indirectly caused through witnessing the initial
infliction of physical injury upon another person or the immediate aftermath
of it.  I consider it desirable that these questions be left for a case in
which they necessarily arise for determination.

198.  In the result, the application is dismissed.  The applicant was legally
aided.  I have heard no argument on costs.  In these circumstances, I think it
desirable that I reserve the question of costs.

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