Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Government Welcomes Vivian Solon’s Return

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today welcomed Ms Vivian Solon’s return to Australia.

Senator Patterson said her priority has always been Ms Solon’s health and well-being, and believed her needs were best met in a safe and supportive environment within Australia.

“I am pleased that Ms Solon’s lawyers have been able to agree to her return which will allow her to recommence life in Australia and to re-establish herself in the community,” Senator Patterson said.

“The Australian Government is providing practical support for Ms Solon’s return and resettlement in Australia.

“The assistance package in Australia, which was first offered to Ms Solon in May this year will include:

  • free medical and health care, including private services, carer support up to 24 hours a day and health-related aids and transport to relevant services;
  • the provision of a case manager to ensure her needs are met;
  • financial help with the costs of re-establishing a home;
  • free accommodation for six months close to medical and treatment facilities;
  • financial support in Australia for a family member for six months to support Ms Solon; and
  • assistance with her telephone costs.

“This package is designed to help re-establish Ms Solon in Australia and is not related to any claim for compensation Ms Solon may wish to make.

“If, through no fault of Ms Solon, compensation has not been resolved within six months of her return, the government will extend relevant elements of the assistance package.

“Discussions are continuing between Ms Solon’s lawyers and the Australian Government Solicitor, acting on behalf of the Australian Government on the matter of compensation for Ms Solon.

“All parties are committed to an early resolution,” Senator Patterson said.