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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee: Defence Portfolio: Department of Defence

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Senator RHIANNON: Minister, have you hired additional media or public relations staff or consultants who cover that area to manage the contamination at Williamtown and the contamination issue generally at other bases?

Senator Payne: In my personal office?

Senator RHIANNON: Within the department. The question was to manage the contamination issues at Williamtown.

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Motion: Chemical Contamination: Firefighting Foams

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (15:44): I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 144 standing in my name for today relating to contamination by firefighting foams, by omitting in subparagraph (a)(i) the words 'public health'.

Leave granted.

Senator RHIANNON: I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (training courses in severe trauma management)

Vice Admiral Griggs and Air Vice Marshall Smart are questioned on the use of live animals in the training of military personnell in early management of severe trauma courses. 

Senator RHIANNON: I understand that the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, when they run early management of severe trauma courses, use live animals to teach emergency medical procedures to ADF personnel. Is that correct?

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Estimates: Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee (Williamtown contamination)

Lee pursues the issue of the toxic contamination at the RAAF base in Williamtown, NSW with the Defence Minister, Senator Payne and Mr Grzeskowiak, Deputy Secretary, Estate and Infrastructure.

CHAIR: Senator Gallacher, could I ask you to pause for a minute and we will go to Senator Rhiannon. We will come back to you as needed.

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Estimates: Environment & Communications Legislation Committee (Townsville RAAF contamination)

Lee questions the secretary of the Department of the Environment, Dr de Brouwer, and the chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Dr Reichelt, on the possibility of environmental damage arising from runoff of firefighting foam from the Townsville RAAF base.

CHAIR: Thank you for your patience, Senator Rhiannon.

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Speech: Report on toxic contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown

Senator RHIANNON (New South Wales) (16:12): I rise to speak on the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee report on contamination caused by firefighting foams at RAAF Base Williamtown and Australian Defence Force facilities. On behalf of the Greens, I moved for this inquiry and was pleased to get the support of the Senate. We moved to do that because of the rising concerns of residents at Williamtown, and many other people as well, that the Department of Defence was not being responsible in how it was responding.

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Port Stephens Greens: Defence Department fails locals over Williamtown contamination

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.

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