Independent PFAS review received by Federal Government

Mr Jim Varghese AM discussing the review at a public hearing in Williamtown in November 2023.

THE Federal Government has received the independent review of land uses around key Defence bases impacted by per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

The review was commissioned to deliver on the Government’s election commitment to explore alternative uses for land impacted by PFAS.

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It focussed on communities around RAAF Base Williamtown in Port Stephens, the Army Aviation Centre Oakey in Queensland, and RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory.

Mr Jim Varghese AM was appointed to undertake the review.

In November 2023, Mr Varghese visited Williamtown and other impacted sites to conduct public hearings and stakeholder engagements to hear the concerns of community members, industry and academia, and consult across all levels of government.

A public consultation process was open to allow the review to hear from other impacted communities.

Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson described the delivery of the review as a “significant milestone” in her advocacy for Williamtown and surrounding communities.

The review was a commitment made during Ms Swanson’s 2022 election campaign.

Ms Swanson said she remains committed to ensuring the best possible outcome for all impacted by per-and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.

“I am pleased that the Government has now received the PFAS Independent Review, and I would again like to thank the local communities and individuals who contributed,” Ms Swanson said.

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to helping communities affected by PFAS contamination around Defence bases including Williamtown and surrounding suburbs.

“This is a significant step forward and I will continue to advocate for our community and am hopeful for a meaningful outcome for all affected residents.”

The Albanese Government will now take the necessary time to consider the findings of the independent review and its recommendations.

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