Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson has slammed the Turnbull Government for abandoning people whose properties have been contaminated with pollution from RAAF Base Williamtown.

Ms Swanson, who is on a Parliamentary delegation to India, telephoned the Prime Minister today to demand that the Government reveal its solution for Red Zone residents immediately.

“Defence needs to stop this contamination leaving the base, and the Prime Minister needs to come up here and put an offer on the table,” Ms Swanson said.

Ms Swanson was shocked but not surprised to hear on Sunday that the Williamtown contamination zone had expanded. She called upon the EPA several months ago to revisit the red zone, based on reports of high blood tests outside the designated investigation area.

 “Our already distressed community is outraged at this news and at the delay in announcing a solution,” she said.

 “Six months ago Senators McGrath and Payne sat at Williamtown and listened to our stories,” Ms Swanson said.

“A month later, Senator McGrath said he had ‘an announcement’ on his desk and was working on a solution that he hoped to bring forward publicly in the near future.

“Well, it is five months into the future, and our community has heard nothing.” Ms Swanson said.

Questions posed today to the Prime Minister and Minister include:

  • Where are things up to with the Taskforce submission?
  • Does the submission include support and options for affected people to leave their properties without financial loss?
  • Has the PFAS Taskforce submission gone to Cabinet?
  • If so, has it been voted on? How many times? Does it have support in the Cabinet?
  • Can we expect people to receive resolution before Parliament rises for 2017?
  • As a priority, will Defence pay for water usage for properties forced to abandon their use of bores and tanks and connect to reticulated supply?