MERYL SWANSON MP
MEMBER FOR PATERSON
SENATOR MALARNDIRRI MCCARTHY
SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
GOVERNMENT FINALLY RESPONDS TO PFAS INQUIRY
The whole of Government response to the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into the management of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in and around Defence bases.
It is unacceptable that it has taken the Morrison Government 16 months to respond to this report.
The communities that have been affected by PFAS contamination have consistently shown courage, strength and determination throughout this gruelling process, and the people that gave evidence during the inquiry deserved a prompt response.
The Morrison Government should explain why it took sustained pressure from affected communities, and an in-principle agreement between the Department of Defence and the Class Action initiated by the PFAS contamination affected communities in Williamtown, Katherine and Oakey, to finally release its response.
While this response make assurances of actions taken, the lived experience of the effected communities falls short, as was evidential in this inquiry.
If the Government wants to restore trust and faith in PFAS communities, actions and the subsequent communication of these actions needs to be effective, timely and thorough.
Labor will look at every opportunity to form bipartisan approaches to this matter, but the government must ensure that it is using all resources at their disposal to find expeditious solutions for impacted communities.
WEDNESDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2020