Senate debates

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination

5:05 pm

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

The coalition government understands the uncertainty that has been generated by PFAS detections around defence bases, particularly at Williamtown and Oakey, and the need to respond as quickly as practical. The whole-of-government task force within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will ensure appropriate actions continue, including consideration of any additional support for local communities that may be required. Defence has provided over $4 million to Hunter Water to connect properties in Williamtown to town water, and this work is underway. The government has commissioned a study to help authorities better understand the potential impact of PFAS to human health.

The government is also providing $12.5 million over four years to establish a national research program to study the potential effects of exposure to PFAS on human health. The investigation area at Williamtown was set by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority. Any change to the boundaries is a matter for the New South Wales government.


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