Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Questions without Notice

Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination

2:31 pm

Photo of Marise PayneMarise Payne (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for Defence) Share this | Hansard source

As I have said in this chamber before, this is a serious legacy issue that affects a range of portfolio areas across the jurisdictions at a Commonwealth, state and territory and local level. The government's been clear that the response to this issue is not a response which can be made in isolation. Today, for example, the New Zealand Defence Force announced that it will be investigating possible contamination at the Ohakea and Woodbourne air bases.

The government, through the PFAS task force within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, is considering a range of options to support affected communities including Williamtown. The impacts of contamination are different for each community that is affected, and it is important that the government is not only responsive to meeting the differing needs of each community but also nationally consistent in its approach. Defence, most importantly, stands ready to do whatever is asked of it by government.


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