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Port Stephens Greens: Defence Department fails locals over Williamtown contamination

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 17 Nov 2015

From Port Stephens Greens:

Williamtown and Fullerton Cove residents, at a meeting with Greens members on 16 November targeted the Defence Department and the Defence Minister Marise Payne for their failure to quickly deal with the serious contamination and offer fair compensation. 

Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon and Greens NSW Senate candidates Michael Osborne and Jane Oakley along with a number of Hunter Greens members met with local residents, fishers and business people for an extensive briefing.

 “Local residents have been put in a shocking situation. They are worried about their children’s health, many are watching their businesses run down and some homes have lost value because of this extensive contamination” said Senator Rhiannon.

 “I was very concerned to hear about the uncertainty and hardship they are now living with due the failure of the federal government to take responsibility for toxic contamination at the Williamtown RAAF base.

 “When parliament resumes next week I will move for a Senate Inquiry to investigate how this contamination occurred, why a clean-up has not occurred and what assistance local residents should receive.

Newcastle Deputy Mayor Michael Osborne said, “The Department of Defence knew these chemicals were a problem in 2003 when they were advised to stop using them. But it wasn't until this year that they reluctantly let the public know. And they still have NOT contained the pollution on the base.

"The Department has failed the people of Williamtown, Salt Ash and Fullerton Cove.

Greens Senate candidate and Hunter resident Jane Oakley said, “It is incredible that families living in such a pristine environment discover that their homes are now valued as having zero sales value because our nation's defence force has been polluting their environment. The Minister needs to explain the situation with other communities surrounding military bases which no doubt have been using these same toxic chemicals.

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