Senate debates

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Questions without Notice

Defence Facilities: Chemical Contamination

2:33 pm

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

I recognise that this is a very difficult situation for those families. This week in Canberra, I have again met with community members and representatives from both Oakey and Katherine who have been in the parliament. As I highlighted in my previous answer, the PFAS task force within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has been tasked to consider a range of options to support affected communities.

For Defence's part, Defence is undertaking the largest program of environmental investigations in Australia's history to get a better understanding of the nature and the extent of the contamination caused by the legacy use of firefighting foams. We've engaged independent, reputable, credible investigators to determine the best way forward. We've shared the findings with state, territory and local authorities and communities, and we're implementing a range of measures which mitigate the impact the contamination is having on the surrounding communities in which Defence operates. I note Senator Burston's specific suggestion, and I will raise that with the relevant task force.


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