MEDIA RELEASE - 2 February 2018
Williamtown contamination impact report due February 5 – Turnbull govt must honour Senate motion
Greens NSW Senator Lee Rhiannon has warned that if the Turnbull government fails to honour the 5 February deadline for its report on the financial impacts of the Williamtown contamination scandal it will cause more distress and uncertainty for local residents.
“The Greens-Labor motion passed by the Senate in December last year gave clear direction to the Turnbull government on the next stage in their response to the impact of the contamination on Williamtown residents and businesses,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“The Senate motion set a 5 February deadline for the government report to be made public.
“The government has been asked to explain how it plans to deal with financial impacts on businesses and individuals, to coordinate urgent action to stop the continued contamination around RAAF Williamtown, and upgrade blood testing.
“If the Turnbull government fails to report by 5 February or their report is inadequate it will be another cruel blow to locals who face an uncertain future not just because of the toxic pollution they have been exposed to but because of the heartless response from authorities.
“I pay tribute to the residents groups who have worked so hard for a fair response from the government,” said Senator Rhiannon
Motion passed by Senate
5 December 2017
That the Senate –
- Notes that:
- The 2016 Senate inquiry into contamination of Australia's Defence Force facilities and other Commonwealth, state and territory sites in Australia concluded that there were many points of failure in the Department of Defence’s response to PFOS/PFOA contamination at RAAF Williamtown;
- On 19 November 2017, the NSW Environment Protection Authority announced that the investigation area adjacent to RAAF Williamtown, known as the “red zone”, had been expanded by 50%, drawing in a further 250 households; and
- Calls on the federal government to:
- Coordinate urgent action to stop the continued contamination around RAAF Williamtown;
- Extend and improve testing regimes for blood and the surrounding environment; and
- Explain what consideration has been given to understanding and addressing any financial impacts on affected businesses and individuals by 5 February, 2018.
SENATOR LEE RHIANNON
SENATOR LISA SINGH