February 5, 2018

 

MERYL SWANSON – MP FOR PATERSON

TURNBULL GOVERNMENT SNUBS SENATE DEADLINE

 

Hundreds of families in the Williamtown area are tonight reeling from news that the Turnbull Government has again failed to deliver its long-awaited plan to address the financial impacts of the RAAF Base Williamtown PFAS contamination scandal.

 

A joint Greens/Labor-sponsored motion was agreed to the Senate in December 2017, calling upon the Government to stop the spread of PFAS contamination, extend and improve testing regimes for blood and the environment, and explain its process and position on addressing the financial impacts of PFAS on individuals and businesses.

 

The deadline for this Federal Government response was Monday, February 5, and it passed without mention.

 

“This silence is not just arrogant. It’s hurtful,” Ms Swanson said.

 

“It’s a sign of utter disdain for the people of Williamtown who have suffered so much through no fault of their own.”

 

Ms Swanson said Defence Minister Marise Payne’s failure to meet the Senate deadline was a prime example of why the polluter should not have the responsibility of cleaning up its own mess.

 

 “Who will hold Defence accountable? Not Prime Minister Turnbull, his Defence Minister or his PFAS Taskforce,” Ms Swanson said. “Today’s missed deadline makes that patently clear.”

 

Ms Swanson met with representatives from the Williamtown and Surrounds Residents Action Group, Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group and the Salt Ash Community First group recently to hear first-hand about the continued impact the contamination is having on their lives.